As the Fourth of July weekend approaches, people are flocking to the great outdoor destinations of Northern California to celebrate America’s Independence Day. With most people feeling the fatigue of the Covid-19 quarantine, the enthusiasm couldn’t be higher to spend the weekend in the great outdoors. But with Covid-19 crippling public facilities, many people might have difficulty going to their favorite outdoor destinations.
One of those destinations is Lake Tahoe, which is known to be a tourist paradise during the Fourth of July. With limited capacity in boat inspection facilities in the Tahoe region, boaters are waiting for hours only to be turned away from launching into the lake. In fact, some boaters arrived the night before and slept in their car just for a chance to get on the lake.
KCRA reporter Vicki Gonzalez posted a video of the excruciatingly long line of people waiting to get their boats checked for invasive species. “Some people had spent night in their cars, other people got here at 4am” read the post:
"Some people had spent night in their cars, other people got here at 4am"— Vicki Gonzalez (@VickiGonzaleztv) July 2, 2020
Preview of #July4th in Lake Tahoe. @TahoeAgency had to turn boaters away by midday yesterday due to demand.
Drivers in this excruciating line had been waiting all day.
Only expected to get worse @kcranews pic.twitter.com/BsDj237nFi
Invasive species can have devastating environmental and economic impacts on industries, communities, and native species populations. Watercraft are the largest source for spreading aquatic invasive species into new waterways. While the wait might be excruciating for some boaters, it’s a crucial process to keep Tahoe’s water clean.
“We cannot let our guard down while protecting Lake Tahoe from aquatic invasive species,” TRPA Executive Director Joanne S. Marchetta said. “Inspections are critical to protect the very reason that people love to recreate on Lake Tahoe. We need to keep inspectors and the public safe from the spread of coronavirus while protecting the lake’s ecosystem.”
The lines are expected to be long and arduous throughout the holiday weekend. If you’d like to go boating this weekend, we suggest heading somewhere else.