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Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Aquatic Invasive Species Program

Protecting the water for future generations

AQUATIC INVASIVE SPECIES (AIS) - Any species not native to the waters of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Reservation whose introduction to those waters is likely to cause economic or environmental harm, or harm to human health and safety.

Aquatic invasive species pose a serious threat to the waters of the Truckee River-Pyramid Lake region, and could have disastrous impacts on the ecology, infrastructure, recreation, and economy of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe.

Once established, aquatic invasive species are extremely difficult, if not impossible, and incredibly expensive to control or eradicate.  Therefore the best option is prevention.

Scroll Down for more info!

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What we do and why

The Aquatic Invasive Species Program is committed to preventing the spread/ introduction of aquatic Invasive Species to the waters of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Reservation.

The aquatic invasive species program conducts boat inspections at the Watercraft Inspection Station at the corner of Sutcliffe Drive and SR-445 in Sutcliffe NV.  The inspections are intended not only to reduce the risk of invasive species introduction, but also to educate boaters on proper Clean, Drain, and Dry procedures.  Boaters travelling from infested water bodies can be unknowingly harboring aquatic invasive species in even the smallest amount of standing water!

The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribes aquatic invasive species program also conducts sampling and monitoring for aquatic invasive species throughout the lower Truckee River within the Reservation boundaries, and Pyramid Lake itself.

Watercraft Inspections

Protecting Pyramid Lake

Aquatic Invasive Species can be unknowingly spread from one water body to another via overland transport of boats, personal watercraft, and other vectors such as fishing gear, PFD's, water toys and much more.

Once an invasive species becomes established, eradication is often not possible, and the cost of management can be incredibly expensive. 

Therefore prevention is the best method!

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Sampling and monitoring

Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribes Aquatic Invasive Species Program does more than boat inspections

Every year the program conducts aquatic invasive species surveys in the lower Truckee river within the reservation boundaries and in the lake proper.

This is an important task to monitor existing aquatic invasive species in the river, and to identify any potential new invasive species in the lake.

Additionally, every year artificial substrate samplers are deployed (submerged) at various sites in the lake and river.  Artificial substrate samplers are made using PVC and rope.  They provide a standard substrate or surface that becomes habitat for various aquatic invertebrate communities.  The samplers are then checked regularly throughout the season for any aquatic invasive species.

So far our beautiful lake remains free of aquatic invasive species!  We need everyones help and cooperation to keep it that way!

Impacts of Aquatic Invasive Species

Aquatic Invasive Species can be harmful to the ecology, economy, and human health of an area or region.

Aquatic Invasive Species

 often prey upon, or compete with native species for resources, transform habitat characteristics (degrade fish spawning habitat), alter food web dynamics, and can introduce diseases and parasites.  Aquatic invasive species can also ruin fishing, boating, and swimming opportunities as well as result in expensive management practices to try and control rapidly growing populations.

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Watercraft Inspections

What to expect when expecting an inspection.

What are we inspecting for?

Standing Water, Mud, Plants, or Animals

Standing Water-Aquatic invasive species can be spread in even a small amount of standing water.  Invasive mussels have microscopic larvae called veligers, that can survive in even a single drop of water!  

Aquatic plants- can be spread through a process known as fragmentation, even a small fragment of Eurasian Watermilfoil or Curly-Leafed Pondweed can be enough to start a new infestation.

Mud can provide habitat to transport Invasive species such as New Zealand Mudsnails and others.  New Zealand mudsnails can survive on wet surfaces like waders or other gear.  Did you know that female New Zealand mudsnails can clone themselves through a process called parthenogenises?  So a single New Zealand mudsnail can start an entire new infestation.

Inspectors are checking boats inside and out!  Including but not limited to hulls, trailers, transom/motors, equipment (such as lines, anchors, PFD's, etc), compartments, livewells & baitwells, bilges, etc for any standing water, mud, plants, animals, or any other conditions that may harbor aquatic invasive species.


How to prepare for an inspection

Before arriving please make sure your vessel is Clean Drain and Dry

Clean:  Clean all surfaces that touch water; Dispose of vegetation, mud, and sand; Remove any contaminants.  Using a garden hose or DIY carwash can be an easy way to clean your boat!

Drain:  Drain water from the bilge; Empty ballast tanks, live wells, and sea strainers; Lower the outdrive to drain ALL water from intakes.  Sometimes residual water remains kinked in the hoses and lines of a motor.  Lowering and raising the out drive several times, with a minute or two in between, can help ensure all the water drains out!

*PLEASE NOTE: Nevada state law and Pyramid Lake Tribal Law requires all boats have their drain plugs out while being transported on all Nevada state roads and on Tribal land.  This is so any residual water can drain out during the drive and reduce the risk of spreading Aquatic Invasive Species.

Dry:  Dry all compartments; Dry life jackets, ropes, and toys.  If weather and storage permits, leaving compartments open or using a box fan can help to dry out those hard to reach places!  A wet/dry vac may also be used to remove water.  Any water present during the inspection will result in a decontamination and a decontamination fee.

*PLEASE NOTE: Dry times can vary from 5 days in the summer heat, up

 to 30 days in the cold of winter in order to ensure complete mortality of invasive species.

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Boats that arrive not Clean Drain and Dry will need to pay a fee for decontamination

In order to deter boaters from arriving with standing water on their vessels, any boat found to have standing water (including motors) on or in their vessel will require decontamination prior to launching. 

Triggers for decontamination include but are not limited to:

  • Standing water in compartments or in motor/engine.

  • Wet/ damp equipment such as life jackets, lines, floaties etc..

  • Plants including on intakes and on trailer.

  • Animals such as live bait, which is illegal at Pyramid Lake anyways.

This decontamination fee is completely avoidable, to avoid paying any additional fees simply make sure you vessel is Clean Drain and Dry prior to arrival!

The fees will be structured at $15 for the first system that requires decontamination and an additional $5 for every subsequent system that requires decontamination.  If a boat show up covered with mussel, there will be a $250 fee for decontamination.

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Do I need to get inspected every time I come out?

When the Watercraft inspection station is OPEN it is mandatory to stop and receive an inspection; pursuant to Tribal Regulations section 10.1.1  (Link to regs book below)

OPEN/CLOSED signs are posted at the following locations:

  • Just outside of Nixon going towards Popcorn

  • Pyramid Highway right before you come over the hill and can see the Lake.

If the station is open it is mandatory for all boats to stop and get inspected.  Hours of operation for the Inspection Station vary, please prepare for inspections by ensuring your boat or vessel is Clean Drained and Dry prior to every trip.

If the station is closed, boaters may fill out a self inspection form, to ensure their boat is not harboring aquatic invasive species, located at:

  • The Ranger station in Sutcliffe

  • Pelican boat launch

  • Popcorn launch area

  • Pyramid Highway Creel station.

Failure to stop when the station is open can result in fine (Tribal regs 10.1.1).

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Inspection station location

Located at the corner of SR-445 and Sutcliffe Drive

When first arriving in Sutcliffe, the inspection station is on the east side of SR-445.  Boaters will see a large, white, metal shipping container, with a high metal roof.

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Self inspection forms

Check yourself before you wreck yourself

The Self Inspection Forms are essentially a risk assessment to determine the likelihood that a boater may be harboring aquatic invasive species, and for the program to gather data about where boaters are coming from and what water bodies they have recently been on  

The back of the form has a list of infested water bodies, boaters are to review this list and if their boat has been on any of these water bodies they need to either be professionally decontaminated or to be Clean Drain and Dry for a minimum of 30 days, prior to launching.

Please note in accordance with Tribal regulations (section 10.2 in regs book), launching a vessel that is contaminated or potentially contaminated carries a fine of $500-$5,000.

Click Below for PDF of Self inspection Form.  When printing PDF please be sure to select "print on both sides" from printing options menu.

Self inspection drop boxes are located at:

  • Pelican boat launch

  • Ranger station in Sutcliffe

  • Popcorn launch area

  • Pyramid Highway Creel Station


Non-Motorized hand launch

Does my hand launch vessel require inspection?

At this time we do not require inspections for non-motorized hand launch vessels because of their relative low risk for harboring aquatic invasive species.  Non-motorized hand launch vessels include but are not limited to:

  • Kayaks

  • Canoes

  • Float tube

  • Inflatable pontoons

  • Inflatable rafts

  • Belly boats

  • Etc

We do ask that you Clean Drain and Dry your hand launch vessels in between water bodies and that you fill out a Self Inspection Form Prior to launching.

*PLEASE NOTE: If any vessel has a motor it will require an inspection and boat permit.

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Science & Technology

How Quagga Mussels Affect the Environment


Showing the Kiddos how AIS can be spread

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Media Center

Here in our news section, you’ll find stories and the latest updates about how our work is helping to protect the lake for future generations.

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Tribe works to keep home of endangered fish free of invasive species

January 3, 2022

Interview with program Adrienne Juby, Pyramid Lake Aquatic Invasive Species specialist.

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Press Release of Inspection Station Grand Opening

September, 2021

Original press release for the grand opening of the watercraft inspection station.

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Pyramid Lake Natural Resources Newsletter


Click the link below to read the Natural Resources Department Newsletter!

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Pyramid Lake Aquatic Invasive Species Program Deploys Samplers to Preserve the Lake!

March 28,2024

The Aquatic Invasive Species Program deploys samplers to detect any aquatic invasive species in the lake

Home: News

Contact Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Aquatic Invasive Species Program

Pyramid Hwy &, Sutcliffe Dr, Reno, NV 89510

775-574-1050 ex 22

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