The Asian clam was first identified in Lake George in August 2010. Sixteen infestation locations have currently been identified.
What is the Asian clam?
The Asian clam is a very small and round bi-valve. It is typically less than 1.5 inches in size, and can spread rapidly. A single clam can reproduce alone, and can release hundreds of juveniles per day. The biggest problem Asian clams have caused in other waterbodies is biofouling - or clogging of water intake pipes. Officially known as Corbicula fluminea, the Asian clam is native to southern Asia, the eastern Mediterranean and Australia.
Asian clams and Lake George
The Darrin Fresh Water Institute first found Asian clams off Lake Avenue beach in Lake George Village on August 19, 2010. Up to 600 clams per square meter were initially documented, covering an area of approximately 2.5 acres. A committee formed to coordinate response efforts. Representatives from the Darrin Fresh Water Institute, Lake George Park Commission, Lake George Association, FUND for Lake George, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Adirondack Park Agency, Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program, and Lake Champlain Basin Program are working together to pool resources and expertise.
The Asian Clam prefers sandy or gravelly bottom areas, in shallow, warm water. If a clam is found that matches the description of the Asian clam, citizens are asked to get a sample or take a photograph and call the Lake George Association at 518-668-3558, the FUND for Lake George at 518-668-5913 or the Darrin Fresh Water Institute at 518-644-3541.
In addition, the public can avoid spreading the Asian clam, as well as other invasive species, by following these guidelines whenever leaving a waterway:
- Check and remove any visible mud, plants, fish or organisms from boats, trailers, equipment, clothing, dogs, etc.
- Clean and eliminate water from equipment. Be sure to drain all water, including live wells and bait buckets.
- Do not use Asian clams as bait.
- Dry anything that comes in contact with the water.
- Never release plants, fish, or other animals into a waterway unless they come from that waterway.
- Wash your boat with high pressure, hot water and all equipment before entering and when leaving Lake George.