A new infestation of the invasive species Asian clam (Corbicula fluminea) has been discovered in Lake George in Boon Bay in the Town of Bolton. The new infestation was discovered as part of the FUND for Lake George’s Eurasian watermilfoil management and control program in cooperation with the Lake George Park Commission. Initial survey work by the RPI Darrin Fresh Water Institute in Boon Bay estimates the population to be 3.75 acres – 5 acres in size.
This is the second infestation discovered in Lake George. Last fall a 5-acre infestation in the Village of Lake George was discovered. The Lake George Asian Clam Rapid Response Task Force organized to combat this infestation and a treatment effort has been underway in the Village since late April under permits from the Adirondack Park Agency and NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. Over 725 benthic barriers have been installed to suffocate the clams.
“Based on the over 6 mile distance from the Lake George Village area with clams to the newly discovered Boon Bay area having clams, the size of the clams in Boon Bay and the distribution and population of clams at Boon Bay, it is believed that this is a separate introduction of clams rather than natural migration/transport from the Lake George Village area” said Dr. Sandra Nierzwicki Bauer, Director of the RPI Darrin Fresh Water Institute in a press release issued last week.
The members of the Lake George Asian Clam Rapid Response Task Force are asking landowners around Lake George to survey the areas under their docks, along their shores, and at their beaches for the presence of Asian clams. The Asian clam is a small clam, which can grow as big as a dime or nickel. One telltale sign is the presence of a butterfly open clam shell on the lake bottom. It’s likely that live clams will be near where open shells exist. The Asian clam looks very different from the native mussels and snails. Anyone who thinks that they have found Asian clams should contact the RPI Darrin Fresh Water Institute, FUND for Lake George, Lake George Park Commission, or Lake George Association. People are encouraged to photograph and email a picture of a suspected Asian Clam to these organizations. More information can be obtained at www.stoptheasianclam.info.
“The new infestation focuses us all on the need to fully survey the entire lake for additional infestations. A search of 60 locations in the south end of Lake George last year found no other infestations outside the Village of Lake George. Now, we need to expand our control efforts to include Boon Bay and expand out survey work around the lake to identify other infestations if there are any,” according to Peter Bauer, Executive Director of the FUND for Lake George.
A number of efforts are currently underway to survey the Asian clam population and crews of divers looking for Eurasian water milfoil and zebra mussels will also be looking for Asian clams and other aquatic invasive species.
Lake George Asian Clam Rapid Response Task Force
The Lake George Asian Clam Rapid Response Task Force is managing the eradication effort. The Task Force includes the RPI Darrin Fresh Water Institute, Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program, FUND for Lake George, Lake Champlain Basin Program, Lake George Association, the NYS Lake George Park Commission, Dome Island Committee, Lake George Watershed Coalition/NYS Department of State, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, NYS Adirondack Park Agency, Bateaux Below, Inc., InnerSpace Scientific Diving, Scientific Diving International, and the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation as well as researchers from Lake Tahoe.