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One Step Ahead of Aquatic Invasive Species

Lake Tahoe is a freshwater lake located along the border between California and Nevada. Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America; it is the United States second deepest lake at 1,645 feet. It is a major tourist attraction in both Nevada and California and much of the area surrounding Lake Tahoe is devoted to the tourism industry.

While beautiful to look at, Lake Tahoe is not without problems. In spite of land-use planning, the lake is becoming increasingly eutrophic with the largest source of fine sediment particles coming from urban stormwater runoff. Also, like many of the nation’s water bodies, aquatic invasive species (AIS) are threatening the lake as well.

An AIS program that was implemented in 2007 keeps evolving and this was a very successful year for the program. 63% of the vessels inspected in 2011 had to be decontaminated before being allowed to enter Lake Tahoe. Of the 30,400 boats that were launched, 7,600 had to be checked for AIS and 4,800 of those needed to be decontaminated.

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Winter Drawdown Has Gives Milfoil Advantage over Native Species - New study "speculates" that the annual drawdown actually has a negative effect on the biodiversity that would slow growth of the invasive species. Pondweed and milfoil both grow in cold weather, and the drawdown may be giving them an advantage over native species.

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