Lake Tahoe Bans Two Stroke Motors

Old Two Stroke Outboard Motor

Lake Tahoe Bans Two Stroke Engines

The controversial ban on two-stroke motors is now in effect and is being enforced on the lake.

Here is the official announcement from 2001, which appears to apply to all carbureted 2 stroke engines, such as outboards and jet skis/personal watercraft:

“The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency wishes to remind all boat owners who live or frequent Lake Tahoe that as of Oct. 1, 2001, with the exception of direct fuel-injected, low emission two-stroke engines, all two-stroke engines will not be allowed to operate on the lake. These engines do not meet the standards for operation on Lake Tahoe Regional Lakes.

Local boat owners have been notified of these restrictions. All vessels or non-complying engines must be removed from the water, not beached, docked or on a launch platform, by Oct. 1, 2001.

Any person who is found in violation of this ordinance is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000, and an additional civil penalty not to exceed $5,000 per day for each day that the violation persists.

These engines are good on Lake Tahoe now and into the foreseeable future:

  • Outboard Engines
    • All four-stroke engines
    • All direct fuel-injected two-stroke engines
  • Inboard Engines
    • All four-stroke gasoline and diesel engines
    • Engines that meet EPA 2006 Standards”

Over time, TRPA has made a few clarifications to the above original announcement, including but not limited to:

Four stroke engines and certain Direct Fuel Injected two stroke engines and/or engines with a California Air Resources Board (CARB) star rating are allowed, such as:

  • Evinrude E-TEC (2-stroke DFI)
  • Mercury Optimax (2-stroke DFI)
  • Yamaha High Pressure Direct Injection (2-stroke DFI)
  • All Honda engines (4-stroke)

For questions about these restrictions and how they may affect your particular engine, call the TRPA at 775-588-4547.