INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Inspectors decontaminated six vessels
for invasive mussels over Memorial Day weekend and found three more cases that raised
alarm, a Tahoe Resource Conservation District (TRCD) spokeswoman said Tuesday.
Nicole Cartwright, a conservation planner for TRCD’s invasive species program, said quagga mussel shells were found May 18 at the Tahoe Keys on a 30- to 35-foot Sea Ray boat, purchased from Lake Pleasant, Ariz. That boat was decontaminated Tuesday at the TRCD office near Emerald Bay.
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“This shows us that the inspection program is working and the inspectors are taking their job seriously,” said Dennis Oliver, a spokesman with the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.
Five other boats underwent a full- to-partial decontamination during the holiday weekend, but did not have shells on their engines, hulls or other parts, Cartwright said.
“There were not physical mussels but they were from at-risk areas and had some kind of standing water,” Cartwright said.
Lead watercraft inspector Jonelle Bright works on decontaminating a boat of mussels in a quarantine area in South Lake Tahoe on Tuesday.
On Sunday, inspectors also found a 40-foot Chris-Craft and 32-foot Grand Banks at Obexer’s Boat Company at Homewood with mussel shells. The shells were not quagga or zebra mussels, and California Department of Fish and Game biologists are investigating if they are a salt-water subspecies, said Warden Bob Pera.
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“No matter what they are, these boats are going to have to be decontaminated,” Pera
said. “We know at least they don’t belong in Lake Tahoe so they are not going to
The vessels, which hailed from the Alemeda and Oakland areas in California, are scheduled for decontamination Thursday and a final inspection Friday, Pera said.
The larger the boat, the bigger the bilge and the more places for invasive species to hang out.
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