No Boats from Outside the Region Will Be Allowed on Lake Tahoe Until Public Order Restrictions are Relaxed

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Lake Tahoe, clarity, tahoe, California, Nevada,
Lake Tahoe’s legendary clarity amazes the 3-million annual visitors. Credit: Tim Peterson | Unsplash

In an effort to discourage visitors to the area, no boats from outside of the Lake Tahoe region will be allowed to launch on the lake until public orders are relaxed or removed. In a press release on their website, officials outlined their phased approach to boating this year.

Lake Tahoe boat ramps and marinas still have some work ahead to begin launching local boats this year, but with the announcement today from the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA), there will be a phased approach to boating this year that meets the guidance from state and local officials. The phased plan discourages out-of-area visitation in the early part of the season while allowing boats with an intact AIS inspection seal from their last haul out from Lake Tahoe to start getting on the water.

No visiting boats from out of the region, known as “Tahoe In & Out” vessels, can launch until public health orders are further relaxed and watercraft inspection stations open.

Marinas and ramps are not expected to open right away because of the groundwork needed before they request Tahoe Only stickers from TRPA. Watercraft agencies will update the Ready to Launch page as a resource for information about what launch sites are open and potential dates for openings. Boaters have already demonstrated patience in waiting for this announcement, and are further being asked to limit calls as much as feasible to marinas and launch sites for status updates as their staff will be occupied with getting open.

Some marinas and buoy fields will begin filling up immediately as boats are moved from dry storage to the water, which is standard practice to prepare for the boating season. They are not to be operated until a Tahoe Only sticker is purchased. Some marinas report they have several weeks of catchup to get ready for opening after state shelter-in-place orders that began in March.

A Lake Tahoe invasive species seal shows that a boat does not need to be inspected or decontaminated to prevent an introduction of harmful invasive species. Inspection stations for AIS remain closed under COVID-19 orders. Owners of Tahoe In & Out vessels visit other water bodies during the boating year and approximately 85 percent of them are from outside the Tahoe Basin. These boats will be considered to launch in future phases after health orders are further relaxed.

Agencies remind boaters to practice safe physical distancing from others outside of their household and to follow local and state health guidelines to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Boaters should also stay informed of recreation area closure orders and guidelines when coming ashore. For more information on when various marinas and launch sites will open, consistent with state and local COVID orders, visit the Ready to Launch page.

California has had 66,680 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 2,745 deaths.

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