Protect Lake Tahoe is about protecting all resources of Lake Tahoe; the environmental, historical and cultural resources of this spectacular region.
The Tahoe Divers Conservancy is working with divers of New Millennium Dive Expeditions on their current project to document the S.S. Tahoe which lies over 400 ft. beneath the surface of Lake Tahoe.
The steamer Tahoe was the longest and most beautiful ship ever to grace the waters of Lake Tahoe. The steamer Tahoe was commissioned by lumberman Duane L. Bliss, constructed in San Francisco in 1894, it was then disassembled and transported in sections by train and horse drawn wagons to the lakeshore at Glenbrook, Nevada. Under the Bliss family’s supervision the 169 foot steel-hulled steamship was reassembled and launched with great fanfare on June 24, 1896. The two wood-fired steam engines each drove a huge, three-bladed propeller and developed a combined total of 1200 horsepower.
Outfitted by period craftsman quality work, the steamer sported many polished brass fittings, a teak and mahogany trimmed deckhouse, and interior appointments which included leather upholstery, hand-woven carpeting, and marble lavatory fixtures. It also boasted some of the latest technological advancements of the day, including hot and cold running water in the lavatories, electric lights and bells, and steam heat. In addition to a dining room which could seat 30 people was a gentlemen’s smoking lounge.
The vessel was designed to accommodate 200 passengers in luxurious comfort as well as their baggage and other freight. She carried a crew of seven, including captain, purser, steward, fireman, engineer, and two deckhands. Beginning in 1901, following completion of the new Tahoe Tavern railroad pier in Tahoe City, the Tahoe departed from that pier every summer morning carrying passengers, mail and freight that had arrived by train. The steamer made a complete circuit of the lake stopping at all the major landings and returned to Tahoe City by late afternoon.
Following the loss of much of its passenger traffic to the automobile as well as the loss of a lucrative federal mail contract in 1934,the steamer became too costly to operate and lay unused at dockside until 1940. Dismayed at the once proud steamship’s deteriorating condition, William S. Bliss, son of the original owner, bought the vessel back from the company he had sold it to, and ordered it to be scuttled as a memorial to the bygone era of steam traffic on the lake. The S.S. Tahoe went to the bottom of the lake off Glenbrook in the early morning hours of August 30, 1940. The present project by New Millennium Diver Expeditions will focus upon the completion of their work began back in 1999 on the shipwreck of the S.S. Tahoe. The Tahoe Divers Conservancy will help reinvigorate their efforts to complete their work on the Tahoe and bring back to the surface important historical and cultural documentation of this Maritime Icon that rests stoically 400 feet below the surface of her sapphire waters.
Visit the website at: www.nmde.org
Alpengroup working to restore native trout to the Tahoe Basin
Working with USFWS staff divers will conduct a ground truth survey that will substantiate the hydro-acoustic monitoring being conducted on the surface.
The Tahoe Divers Conservancy have conducted this type of survey for over 72 miles of the nearshore of Lake Tahoe and other Sierra Nevada Lakes, including work at Yosemite National Park and Grand Teton National Park in Jackson Hole Wyoming.
Listed as Endangered on October 13, 1970 and reclassified as Threatened in 1975.
Female sexual maturity is reached between the ages of three and four, while males mature at two to three years of age. Consecutive repeat spawning is rare. Like other cutthroat trout species, Lahontan cutthroat trout is a stream spawner, spawning between February and July. Spawning depends upon stream flow, elevation, and water temperature.
Distribution and Habitat:
Lahontan cutthroat trout, like other trout species, are found in a wide variety of cold-water habitats including large terminal alkaline lakes (e.g., Pyramid and Walker lakes); alpine lakes (e.g., Lake Tahoe and Independence Lake); slow meandering rivers (e.g., Humboldt River); mountain rivers (e.g., Carson, Truckee, Walker, and Marys Rivers); and small headwater tributary streams (e.g., Donner and Prosser Creeks). Generally, Lahontan cutthroat trout occur in cool flowing water with available cover of well-vegetated and stable stream banks, in areas where there are stream velocity breaks, and in relatively silt free, rocky riffle-run areas.
The Lahontan cutthroat trout is endemic or native to the Lahontan basin of northern Nevada , eastern California , and southern Oregon. In 1844, there were 11 lake dwelling populations of Lahontan cutthroat trout and 400 to 600 steam dwelling populations in over 3,600 miles of streams within the major basins of Lake Lahontan.
Lahontan cutthroat trout currently occupy between 123 to 129 streams within the Lahontan basin and 32 to 34 streams are outside the basin, totaling approximately 482 miles of occupied habitat. The species is also found in five lakes, including two small populations in Summit and Independence Lakes . Self-sustaining populations of the species occur in 10.7 percent of the historic stream habitats and 0.4 percent of the historic lake habitats.
As subpopulations of the species become isolated due to physical and biological fragmentation, migration rates decrease, local extirpation may become permanent, and the entire population may move incrementally toward extinction. Maintaining a networked population may provide the ability to recover LCT without having to establish fish in every tributary as well as establishing self-sustaining lake populations for long term persistence. Although the presence of non-native species have dramatically altered aquatic ecosystems, hybridization and competitive interaction between lake dwelling LCT and non-native species is not well understood.
Alpengroup awarded 10 year contract by State of California for beach front concession at Lake Tahoe
Alpengroup has secured a contract for up to 10 years to be the concessionaire at Patton Landing in Carnelian Bay. This year-round operation will mean free access to Lake Tahoe for non-motorized watercraft, a small sledding hill, plowed access to parking, and food vendors who will all have a connection to Lake Tahoe.
“We’re keeping it as much Tahoe as we can,” Phil Caterino, executive director of Alpengroup, told Lake Tahoe News. “It will also be opened as a place for community groups to do fund raisers.”
Alpen Sierra Coffee and Tahoe House Bakery are some of the businesses involved in Blue Warrior Café, which is slated to open in March at the site. The year-round facility will have hot drinks, food and environmental information.
The agreement with Alpengroup was approved by the California Tahoe Conservancy board on Jan. 29.
The state agency acquired 7.1 acres in Carnelian Bay between 1986-92 to give the public access to the lake. In 1999, $1.8 million in improvements to the 2.2-acre Patton Landing site were completed – including 21 parking spaces, picnic facilities, rest rooms, patio, 723-square-foot structure and environmental interpretive panels.
“A lot of people are excited,” Caterino said of the fact the area will be open year-round with free access to the lake. Lack of parking for kayakers is a huge issue at Lake Tahoe, as is public access to the water.
Part of Alpengroup’s mission statement is, “To build private and public partnerships to solve immediate problems with inventive and decisive intervention while recognizing that only long term constructive planning and restoration will provide sustainable solutions for the future.”
Alpengroup is Recognized for it work at Lake Tahoe by the Patagonia Environmental Grants Program
We are so honored to be recognized by a company like Patagonia! Every year, Patagonia contributes at least 1% of it’s sales to nonprofits working on the frontlines of the environmental crisis. This tradition of giving goes back to 1973, when a young activist knocked on our door with a plan to restore the Ventura River in California. A lot has changed since they gave that first grant – but their commitment to protecting and restoring wild places remains constant and unwavering. In a year with sweeping political changes and the worst economy since the Great Depression, that commitment keeps their entire company focused on it’s mission. It’s a compass that guides them through challenging times and should be bearing for us all to keep in mind as we fight to restore and protect Lake Tahoe.
Check out the “Annual Environmental Initiatives Booklet” at:
Tahoe Divers Conservancy
When we are asked by tourists, “What do you see under there?” the most common response by divers with the Tahoe Divers Conservancy is “not much”. Swimming among beautiful waves of granite boulders the size of houses, bright reflections of light from mica studded sandy lake bottom and a generally stark but surreal crystal environment. We often describe diving in the Lake Tahoe as Zen Diving.
In Tahoe we use diving as instrument of discovery, a mental discipline by which one attempts to get beyond the conditioned, “thinking” mind into a deeper state of relaxation or awareness. It is a psychophysical practice which leads to a greater focus and a more relaxed and peaceful frame of mind.
But now the underwater world of Lake Tahoe is disturbingly full of strange, new life.??In just a few years, the vast sandy nearshore that for centuries covered the bottom of Lake Tahoe have disappeared under a carpet of invasive plants. The change is not merely cosmetic. Invasive species are upending the ecology of Lake Tahoe, shifting distribution of species and starving familiar fish of their usual food supply.
Eurasian watermilfoil, Curlyleaf Pondweed and the Asian Clam are all found in Lake Tahoe now. And it is not just invasive plants. Scores of Brown Bullhead Catfish were found in Emerald Bay. Once confined to the Tahoe Keys and Taylor Marsh, non-native fish are propagating all over Lake Tahoe. Signs of the shift are hard to ignore now. Mats of dead, smelly plants are already washing ashore on Lake Tahoe’s beautiful beaches, castoffs of a vast underwater expanse.
What is the Great Sierra River Clean Up?
The Great Sierra River Cleanup is the premier volunteer event focused on removing trash and restoring the health of waterways throughout the Sierra Nevada Region. This cleanup is an annual event coordinated by the Sierra Nevada Conservancy and held on the third Saturday of September from 9AM to noon in conjunction with the California Coastal Cleanup Day. Join us this year on September 25, 2010! Last year more than 3,500 volunteers joined together to remove over 130 tons of trash and recyclables from Sierra rivers during the very first Great Sierra River Cleanup. More than 100 community groups spread across 22 counties and 500 river miles to pull appliances, cigarette butts, beverage cans, baby diapers, tires, furniture, and more from the rivers and streams that supply the State of California with 65 percent of its water. This effort, in partnership with the California Coastal Cleanup Day, serves to promote good stewardship on all of our waterways, from the source to the sea. The Tahoe Divers Conservancy coordinated last years event at Lake Tahoe and will again in 2010 work with the Sierra Nevada Conservancy for this great project.
To learn more about our organization visit our website at: www.alpengroup.org