by Phoenix Anthony, Office Manager

Often in the shadow of iconic Lake Tahoe, Donner Lake has finally gotten the recognition and support that it deserves. Beginning in 2014, watercraft inspections are now mandatory before launching into the lake. The Truckee River watershed stakeholders saw the need to initiate a community wide approach to stop the spread of aquatic invasive species, such as the quagga mussel, New Zealand mudsnail and Eurasion watermilfoil. The collaborative process encompasses watercraft inspections (both mandatory and self-inspections), early detection monitoring, education and outreach.

This approach is in response to the detrimental effects that invasive species can have on an aquatic ecosystem. The introduction and establishment of invasive species can alter natural ecosystem function, displace native species, increase pollutants such as algal blooms, damage boat propellers, and cause economic losses for the community (Timothy J. Caldwell and Dr. Sudeep Chandra, 2012).

Since its creation, accomplishments of the Truckee Regional Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Program (TRAISPP) include :
• A comprehensive education and outreach program;
• Baseline monitoring for invasives in Prosser, Boca, Stampede, and Donner Lake;
• collaboration with local governments on watercraft inspection within the Town of Truckee, Sierra County and Nevada County;
• More than 10,000 watercraft inspections at Boca, Prosser & Stampede Reservoirs and Donner Lake

If you would like to learn more about aquatic invasive species, please call Erin at (530)550-8760 x 7 or visit the Tahoe Resource Conservation District’s website at

Thank you to the donors of the Truckee River Watershed Council, the Tahoe Resource Conservation District, the Community Foundation Of Western Nevada Truckee River Fund and the US Bureau of Reclamation.

Photo: Invasive zebra mussels. Credit: TRCD.