Preventing Aquatic Invasive Species at Independence Lake
Continuation of a watercraft usage program started in 2011. Due to the threat of AIS to the pristine nature of Independence Lake, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) enacted a program which prohibits private watercraft usage. As an alternative, the TNC provides an “in basin” fleet consisting of 3 motor boats, 8 kayaks and 4 pontoon float tubes. The TNC has also implemented a foot wash station for all aquatic footgear. Watercraft are currently offered to the general public free of charge on a first come, first served basis.
Should aquatic invasive species ever gain a foothold in the Truckee River system, the consequences could be quite severe. Besides the ecological damage to the pristine nature of Lake Tahoe and other reservoirs, TMWA could be faced with expensive improvements and operating costs to mitigate fouling of water supply canals, intakes and pipelines serving treatment facilities and run-of-the-river hydroelectric plants. The continuation of the AIS prevention program through restricted watercraft usage at Independence Lake will prevent quagga mussels and other aquatic invasive species from ever getting established in this reservoir.