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Physical Control of Nonindigenous Aquatic Plants in Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe, CA

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Daniel W. H. Shaw
California State Parks, Sierra District, P.O. Box 266, Tahoma, CA 96142
Zachary P. Hymanson
Tahoe Environmental Research Center, University of California, Davis, 291 Country Club Drive, Incline Village, NV 89451
Tamara L. Sasaki
California State Parks, Sierra District, P.O. Box 266, Tahoma, CA 96142
E-mail address:
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Establishment of nonindigenous (NI) aquatic plants in the nearshore regions of freshwater ecosystems has resulted in environmental degradation, recreation concerns, economic impacts, and substantial management challenges. To reduce these undesirable effects, NI aquatic plants are often targeted for removal or control by management agencies, but the efficacy of implementation is often not documented or sustained. In this study, we developed a management plan to completely remove all NI plants from Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe, CA, using only physical control techniques. Management plan priorities were based on previous research and lessons learned, including the need for (1) integrated weed management using multiple physical control techniques, (2) a large initial treatment investment, (3) ongoing early detection and rapid response, (4) detailed ecological monitoring, and (5) a long-term commitment to annual maintenance removal. Application of this management plan resulted in complete removal of all NI aquatic plants from Emerald Bay and substantial cost savings each year after the initial large investment. Annual maintenance removal and monitoring will need to continue as long as NI aquatic plants continue to enter Emerald Bay on boats and currents from other areas of Lake Tahoe.

Case Study
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Copyright © Weed Science Society of America


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