Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Keep Lake Tahoe Blue

 Researchers Blast Algae, Invasive Plants with UV Rays to Keep Lake Tahoe Blue.

RENO (AP) — Encouraged by three years of experimentation, scientists at Lake Tahoe plan to expand the use of ultraviolet light to kill algae and other invasive plants that eat away at the clarity of the mountain water.

Researchers at the University of Nevada, Reno are monitoring the project and collecting data to study the effects of the ultraviolet-C light treatments. It’s the newest tool in a two-decade effort to restore the once-pristine waters in the lake straddling the California-Nevada line.


 The pilot project on the south shore showed that applying the light treatment caused invasive plants to deteriorate or completely collapse within seven to 14 days of treatment.

“This exciting, innovative approach is one of the main methods being considered in combination with other technologies to control weeds in the Tahoe Keys, which comprise the biggest aquatic weed infestation in Lake Tahoe,” said Dennis Zabaglo, manager of the Aquatic Resources Program at the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.

The new tool is a light fixture called an array mounted under a working barge, which trolls the marina dousing the plants on the bottom with UV-C light, a short-wave electromagnetic radiation light that damages the DNA and cellular structure of aquatic plants.

The technology developed by John J. Paoluccio, president of Inventive Resources Inc., is being used at Tahoe to kill Eurasian watermilfoil and curlyleaf pondweed. In addition to reducing clarity, invasive plants can clog waterways and provide cover for other non-native species, including bass and blue gill.


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