LAKE TAHOE, Calif./Nev. – As the 2022 boating and paddling season continues to ramp up, so too does boater education and ensuring businesses along the shoreline are compliant with the 2018 Lake Tahoe Shoreline Plan, according to the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA).
In addition to working with marinas, ramp operators, and boat rental companies to improve boater safety, TRPA is continuing to implement shoreline permitting and compliance programs in line with the Shoreline Plan. The plan sets standards and permit requirements on motorized and non-motorized concessions to reduce boating impacts on the lake and to improve recreation and navigational safety. It also protects fish habitat, sets caps on the number of moorings and piers allowed on Lake Tahoe, and funds on-the-water education and compliance.
Education and Enforcement Underway
In early May, TRPA joined the Lake Tahoe Marina Owners Association, the League to Save Lake Tahoe, and the U.S. Coast Guard to host a training clinic with marinas and boat rental companies. The clinic reviewed Tahoe-specific boating rules and safety measures, a cold-water shock video, and hazardous spill procedures. Education on Tahoe’s 600-foot no-wake zone was stressed to improve safety and reduce the impacts of boating on recreation, noise standards, and protect the shoreline.
Boat rental companies require renters to download the Tahoe Boating app to their phone and watch a new boater education video produced by TRPA and the League to Save Lake Tahoe before stepping aboard. The app is an interactive map that shows boaters if they are inside a no-wake zone and identifies points of interest, marinas, boat ramps, bathrooms, and other landmarks or hazards.
The TRPA watercraft team is back on the water educating the public on boating rules such as the carbureted two-stroke engine ban, noise ordinances, and no-wake zones. Last year, the team logged 580 corrective actions related to no-wake zone and other violations and required removal of 30 vessels that were moored without authorization, according to TRPA reports.
Although most of the crew’s interactions on the water rarely result in a violation, the agency closed a $30,000 violation settlement in April of this year with a boat rental company operating illegally last year in South Lake Tahoe. TRPA negotiated the settlement with Specialty Boat Rentals, LLC for unpermitted mooring near Regan Beach and operating a commercial business without a shoreline concession permit. Commercial watercraft operations are required to operate under a permit and in appropriate locations, such as marinas.
“Unauthorized moorings are unsafe, negatively impact Tahoe’s shoreline, and unjustly limit the careful plan for public access and recreation,” TRPA Executive Director Joanne S. Marchetta said. “Our shoreline program and the compliance measures that go with it are working. The Governing Board’s approval of the violation settlement encourages others to follow the application process.”
Additionally in May 2021, TRPA issued a $90,000 penalty to Action Water Sports, a boat rental company in Incline Village, Nevada, for the placement of 10 unauthorized buoys during the 2020 boating season. All monetary penalties received are reserved for research studies and special projects in the region.