• The Challenge

    Aquatic invasive plants have taken root in shallow waters around Lake Tahoe, threatening the lake’s prized clarity, water quality, ecology, recreation and economy.

  • Aquatic Invasive Plants are a Widespread Problem

    Around the Country

    USGS Map of Aquatic Invasive Plants, 2018

    Aquatic invasive plants are a challenge for numerous bodies of water around the country, costing billions of dollars each year, according the the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Click here to see how other areas around the west are handling the challenge.

    Around Lake Tahoe

    Bureau of Land Management Map of Aquatic Invasive Plants, 2017


    Aquatic invasive plants affect all marinas and numerous shallow, warm areas around Lake Tahoe and continue to spread, constituting the most immediate threat to Lake Tahoe, according to the University of Nevada, Reno's 2015 Implementation Plan for the Control of Aquatic Invasive Species within Lake Tahoe. Curlyleaf pondweed, able to grow in deeper, colder waters, has begun to spread more rapidly than Eurasian watermilfoil.

    In the Tahoe Keys

    Tahoe Keys Curlyleaf pondweed distribution map, 2016


    More than 95 percent of the Tahoe Keys' 172-acre lagoons are infested with aquatic invasive plants. Tahoe Keys Property Owners Association has both aggressively managed these plants with available methods and proactively sought long-term solutions to bring the infestation under control once and for all.

  • Why This is Important

    Harvesting - the primary control method available to the Tahoe Keys today, removed roughly 100 cubic yards from the lagoons in 1984. Harvesters removed nearly 10,000 cubic yards in 2017. In spite of these efforts, costing $400,000 a year, Tahoe Keys Property Owners Association is clearly loosing ground with these approved tools. Find out more about current efforts.


    At the same time, conditions continue to change in favor of these plants, with the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center 2017 State of the Lake Report showing the water warming 10x faster than normal.


    The continued spread of these aquatic invasive plants could rapidly transform from a nuisance to a very real threat to the environment, water quality, recreation and the economy of Lake Tahoe. These plants can harbor other non-native species and create ideal habitat for mosquitoes.




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