Tahoe Boats Will Face Inspection of Invasive Mussels

STATELINE, Nev. (AP) - Boaters at Lake Tahoe will be facing random inspections at public launches to ensure their vessels aren't harboring any invasive mussels that could threaten the lake's ecosystem.

Spot checks at all of Tahoe's public boat-launching sites begin May 16 and will last throughout the summer boating season.

The goal is to try to prevent the introduction of quagga or zebra mussels.

Experts say if the mussels were to become established in Tahoe's blue waters, they could overrun the aquatic ecosystem, disrupting the food chain and substantially damaging native species.

They can clog water intakes and conduits, damage boat engines and produce widespread economic damage.

The mussels attach to boats and have caused problems at other waters in the West.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)