Inspection Program Kept Invasive Species from Tahoe in 2013

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SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (AP) - A conservation agency says a mandatory boat inspection program continues to pay dividends at Lake Tahoe as 36 boats harboring invasive species were prevented from entering the lake in 2013.

In all, the California Resource Conservation District says 4,221 boats were decontaminated with hot water at roadside inspection stations last year to prevent invasive species from entering Tahoe's waters. Conservation district officials say the fact that there were no new introductions of invasive species at Tahoe in 2013 is a credit to the inspection program.

Boat inspections began at Tahoe in 2008 to prevent the spread of invasive species such as quagga and zebra mussels into its pure, blue waters.

The two mussels can overwhelm a lake's natural ecosystem and cause blooms of noxious algae that reduce a lake's clarity.