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Lake-wide Control of Warm Water Fish project at Lake Tahoe
August 3, 2020 @ 8:00 am - August 7, 2020 @ 5:00 pm
The USDA Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) is cooperating with the Tahoe Resource Conservation District (TRCD), Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA), and Army Corps of Engineers on the Lake-wide Control of Warm Water Fish project at Lake Tahoe. The purpose of the project is to eradicate or limit the spread of target invasive non-native warm water fish species in the Lake Tahoe basin and its tributaries, restore native fish habitat, and improve water quality and ecosystem health.
The project incorporates a suite of methods to be implemented over the next 20 years, as funding becomes available. Methods include electrofishing, benthic electrode arrays, fishing nets and traps, angling and education outreach, and tributary exclusion and counting weirs. Mechanical control methods will be performed in the spring through fall of each year. No chemical control methods are proposed. Target invasive fish include smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu), largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus), black crappie (Poxomis nigromaculatus), brown bullhead (Ameiurus nebulosus), and goldfish (Carassius auratus).
Sites prioritized for target invasive fish removal are marinas, followed by shallow areas along the perimeter of the lake and low gradient tributaries where these species have been recorded. The proposed actions would occur throughout the basin in two tiers representing areas where these fish occur in greater abundance. The total project area includes 8,876 acres of shallow water habitat and 70 miles of stream habitat, of which 337 acres and 24 miles are located on Nation Forest System (NFS) lands. First priority or “Tier 1” areas are locations where these fish populations are known or are most likely to occur. “Tier 2” areas are lower priority stream segments where fish may be present in smaller numbers and where habitat conditions may preclude self-sustaining populations (figure attached).
The proposed actions will occur on both NFS and non-NFS lands. The environmental analysis for actions to be conducted on non-NFS lands will be disclosed in a joint environmental document that complies with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the TRPA Regional Planning Compact, Code of Ordinances, and Rules of Procedure. Please contact the TRCD for information regarding the part of the environmental analysis covering non-NFS land.
The LTBMU is proposing to use a Categorical Exclusion for its part of the environmental analysis, 36 CFR 220.6(e)(6): “Timber stand and/or wildlife habitat improvement activities that do not include the use of herbicides or do not require more than 1 mile of low standard road construction”. Our decision regarding proposed actions on NFS lands will be documented in a Decision Memo as part of the joint environmental document, and we would like your comments.
To Comment: Please go to the LTBMU’s Projects webpage at https://go.usa.gov/xmgxT. On that page below “Under Analysis”, click the “Lakewide Control of Warm Water Fish” link. Click the “Comment/Object on Project” link under the “Get Connected” heading in the right-hand column.
Comments must be submitted or posted by 11:59 p.m. (PDT) Friday, August 7, 2020.