Change in Tahoe boat inspections this year
RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -For the last 12 years, boat inspectors have helped keep invasive species out of Lake Tahoe. That’s no different this year. But the coronavirus has forced boat captains to be patient this year.
Jeb Scicluna says every year he has his boat inspected up at Lake Tahoe. In the past, it's meant driving up at an inspection station and waiting. But this year, that all changed.
“Ah this year you have to schedule and make an appointment,” says Scicluna. “Using their online reservation system. And it is pretty nice. It allows you the ability to if there is an ability to work with your schedule. Otherwise, you just have to be patient,” he says. Scicluna says he doesn’t mind the reservations and the thoroughness of the boat inspections.
He says it's something that needs to be done to keep Tahoe blue.
The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency says the inspections are the same as every year with boat inspectors looking for invasive species.
But these days there are fewer inspectors and that has had a domino effect, “It is really unfortunate the wait times we are going to be seeing this year,” says Jeff Cowan with the TRPA. “And the fact that we cannot match the demand with the capacity for our inspectors. We are trying to hire and train. Everyone is short-staffed. It is difficult for anybody to find enough staff right now with COVID. And because so many people were put out of work. And they weren’t really ready to come back.” he says. The remaining inspectors are wearing masks and ask motorists to do the same.
For now, Cowan says they are seeing boats by appointment only.
But beginning July 1, 2020, the inspections will be on a first-come-first-served basis.
Those inspections will last until July 6, at which point reservations will again be required Inspectors say the best advice is to bring the vessel clean, drained and dry.
Boat owners first in line will get out faster, and so will the other boats who are waiting as well.
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