Asian Clam Eradication Effort Underway in Lake George

Asian clam eradication efforts have begun in Lake George. Photo via USGS.

The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Darrin Fresh Water Institute (DFWI) is leading a pilot project to assess the effectiveness of benthic barrier mats in controlling Asian clam (Corbicula fluminea), the newest aquatic invasive species in Lake George, NY. The pilot project is advised by the Asian Clam Rapid Response Task Force. Partners include technical experts from Lake Tahoe where spread prevention techniques for Asian clam are already underway.

Drs. Sudeep Chandra and Marion Wittmann have been involved in the active management and study of Asian clam in Lake Tahoe. These two scientists shared their research, spoke with students and other scientists, visited the Asian clam infestation sites in Lake George, and met with the Asian Clam Rapid Response Task Force. They both agree that the early detection of Asian clam in Lake George makes eradication of the species a possibility. “If steps are taken to control Asian clam now it is likely they could be eradicated from Lake George”, said Dr. Chandra.

The Asian Clam Rapid Response Task Force, with guidance from Wittmann and Chandra, has developed and implemented a control project testing different types of benthic barrier mats and their effectiveness in smothering the clams. The study is currently underway at two shallow water sites in Lake George in Lake George Village, NY.  Monitoring and evaluation of the locations will inform spring control efforts. 

Under the model of the Lake Champlain Basin Aquatic Invasive Species Rapid Response Action Plan which LCC helped craft, partners from NY and VT, under the leadership of the DFWI, have volunteered staff, resources, and other expertise in a rapid response effort to test the mats for a possible spring treatment.