Eyes on the Lake

Eyes on the Lake is the League's volunteer program to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive plants in Tahoe's waters. If you are a water lover in Tahoe (SCUBA diver, paddler, swimmer, beachgoer, or boater) and want to help ensure Tahoe's waters stay clear and pristine, then Eyes on the Lake is for you. Volunteers learn how to identify plants in the classroom and in the field. Help protect the Lake while you play.

During the 2016 Eyes on the Lake season, we trained over a hundred community members. Together, trained Eyes on the Lake volunteers submitted over 250 aquatic plant surveys and reported three previously unreported infestations, kicking off a rapid response process. 

What are aquatic invasive plants and why are they a problem?

The two main targets of our Eyes on the Lake program are curlyleaf pondweed and Eurasian watermilfoil (right), which are already established in several locations throughout the Lake, and are difficult and expensive to control. These weeds clog recreational equipment, degrade shoreline beauty, and impede views of the Lake's bottom. Milfoil is a common aquarium plant that was first introduced to the Tahoe Keys decades ago. It has now spread to dozens of locations throughout Tahoe by hitching a ride on boats.

The Lake Tahoe Aquatic Invasive Species Program is currently working to control these established populations but due to their large size it is extremely resource intensive.

How to participate:

1) Become a certified Eyes on the Lake volunteer.

Register for and attend one of our FREE training sessions, where you will learn how to:

  • Identify aquatic invasive plants,
  • Complete simple surveys while you are enjoying Tahoe’s waters,
  • Report what you find, AND
  • Help stop aquatic invasive plants in their tracks.

Your trained "eyes on the lake" will provide information to the Lake Tahoe Aquatic Invasive Species Program that can result in early detection of new infestations and more effective treatment. With your help we can stop the assault of these invaders on our crystal clear waters.


2) Report what you find.

Review the online aquatic invasive plant identification materials. If you see something suspicious while out on the water, report what you find to the Aquatic Invasive Species Hotline at 888.824.6267.

*Note: All information reported is important but we encourage you to attend a formal training session and become a certified Eyes on the Lake volunteer in order to provide the most accurate and informative data.

Google Map of Eyes on the Lake Reports

Based on completed volunteer surveys from 2013, 2014, and 2015, this Google Map provides the locations of verified infestations of aquatic invasive plants, locations where fragments of plants were spotted, and locations where volunteers reported an absence of invasive plants. We’re excited to be able to provide this data for use by researchers, agencies and other decision makers engaged in the management of aquatic invasive species around Lake Tahoe.

A collaborative project of the Lake Tahoe AIS Program

Eyes on the Lake is led by the League, in partnership with the Tahoe Resource Conservation District and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, as well as other organizations that make up the Lake Tahoe Aquatic Invasive Species Program. Learn more about this program.

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