The Growing Problem
Aquatic invasive and nuisance weeds affect marinas all around Lake Tahoe, and their continued spread constitutes the most immediate threat to the lake, according to the University of Nevada’s 2015 Implementation Plan for the Control of Aquatic Invasive Species within Lake Tahoe. The Tahoe Keys lagoons are the top-ranked locations “due to the magnitude of the plant and fish infestations as well as the high recreational use of these areas by Tahoe boaters” (UNR 2015).
The continued spread of these aquatic weeds could rapidly transform from a nuisance to a very real threat to the environment, water quality, recreation and economy of Lake Tahoe. Fragments of plants are transported around the lake by boats, causing a perpetual threat to the re-establishment of aquatic weeds in places where they are not currently established or have already been removed.
As aquatic weeds thrive in warm water, climate change poses additional challenges in controlling weed populations around Lake Tahoe, with the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center 2017 State of the Lake Report showing the water warming 10 times faster than normal.