We can learn a lot from nature. Organisms and ecosystems accomplish mind-blowing feats every day. By watching, learning, and mimicking their success, we can help Keep Tahoe Blue. 

Have you ever seen a humpback whale go fishing? Well, they don't use a pole and bait. They blow “nets” made of tiny bubbles to corral their prey. 

HOW IT WORKS: A whale locates a shoal of fish and swims upward in a spiral, emitting streams of tiny bubbles from its blowhole that encircle the fish and drive them to the surface. Once the fish are trapped, other members of the whale’s hunting party swim up through the bubble net for a delicious meal. 
A keen observer saw the whales' "bubble nets" at work and inspiration struck. For decades now, man-made bubble nets have helped people farm fish, corral floating trash and prevent sea life from swimming into intake pipes. Since 2018, the technology has protected Lake Tahoe from aquatic invasive species.
In 2017, team members from the League and Tahoe Keys Property Owners Association (TKPOA) caught wind of this technology. They envisioned it could help address one of the most dire ecological threats to Big Blue - the infestation of aquatic invasive species spreading from the Tahoe Keys into the Lake itself. One year later, the Tahoe Keys bubble curtain was born. 
The V-shaped bubble curtain helps prevent aquatic weeds from escaping the Tahoe Keys.
HOW IT WORKS: A perforated, V-shaped tube connected to a compressor is installed along the bottom of the channel connecting the Tahoe Keys to Lake Tahoe. The tube emits a constant stream of bubbles that dislodges aquatic weed fragments attached to passing boats and pushes them to the edges of the channel. There, the fragments (each one a new potential weed infestation) are collected by "seabins," which act as floating trash cans. 
Due to the success of the bubble curtain in preventing the spread of aquatic weeds, TKPOA will install a second curtain in the coming months. However, it will take more than bubble curtains to prevent aquatic invasive species from turning Tahoe's blue waters a murky green. To learn more about the other innovative control methods being used in the Tahoe Keys, click here.
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-Correction to "A Few Big Trees to Complement Big Blue": Two of the recently discovered giant sugar pines are in the Tahoe National Forest, west of the Lake Tahoe Basin. They are not in the Lake Tahoe watershed. 
-Video of whales 'fishing' and banner photo created by the University of Hawaii.
League to Save Lake Tahoe | 530.541.5388 | keeptahoeblue.org
Protecting Lake Tahoe since 1957