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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes
NEVADA FWO: Preventing And Controlling Aquatic Invasive Species In Lake Tahoe
Region 8, May 12, 2009

by Jeannie Stafford, Nevada FWO
Following the first discovery of the highly invasive quagga mussel in the western U.S. in January 2007, the Service established an Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) Coordinator for the Lake Tahoe Basin and Nevada. Steve Chilton, the new ANS coordinator, chairs an Aquatic Invasive Species Coordination Committee composed of representatives from local, state and federal agencies. One of the charges of the committee is to oversee the development of an Aquatic Invasive Species Integrated Management Plan for the Lake Tahoe Basin.

The Service has been instrumental in developing a boat inspection program targeting eleven public launch locations around the Lake. The goal of the inspection program is to intercept boats from infested waters and decontaminate them prior to launching into Lake Tahoe. This program has received significant assistance from local marina owners and public launch ramp operators who have had their staff certified as inspectors.

The Service is working closely with researchers from University of California-Davis and University of Nevada-Reno in developing a pilot project to control the invasive Asian clam in Lake Tahoe. The clam has been linked to algal blooms which may contribute to a more suitable habitat for survival of Quagga mussels.

The Committee will focus on the following activities in the future: removal, containment and reduction of existing aquatic invasive species (AIS) in Tahoe Keys Marina; implementing control and removal actives lake-wide for AIS source populations to improve near shore habitat; AIS environmental education; and watercraft inspections.

Contact Info: Scott Flaherty, , Scott_Flaherty@fws.gov