Results: Mostly Dead Asian Clams Removed In LGA Citizen Science Day

Volunteers and LGA staff removed fewer invasive Asian clams from Sandy Bay during the LGA’s Asian Clam Citizen Science Day in 2019, but the ratio of live clams to dead clams is similar to what was found in 2018.

Handfuls of Asian clams removed from Sandy Bay in 2019 are seen, though fewer were discovered this year than last year at the Lake George Association’s Asian Clam Citizen Science Day in August.

In early August, the Lake George Association and the Lake Stewardship Group of Cleverdale came together with volunteers for an event focused on raising awareness of the potential problems that invasive species cause in Lake George.

The assembled volunteers removed just over 13,000 Asian clams in a couple of hours of work, and only 394 were determined to be alive, or three percent of the total.

In 2018, the groups removed 42,000 Asian clams, of which only 1,200 were alive, or 2.9 percent of the total.

Kristen Wilde, the Lake George Association’s Education Director, said, “We uncovered fewer Asian clams during the citizen science event, but the ratio of live invasive Asian clams to dead ones means a certain percentage are still surviving. It is unclear whether the overwhelming number that were dead were due to cold over the winter, or a long and deep ice cover, or lack of oxygen, or something else.”

Volunteers search for and remove Asian clams from Sandy Bay in August during the Lake George Association’s Asian Clam Citizen Science Day.

“Other areas of the Lake seem to fare worse than Sandy Bay. For instance, Glenburnie has a large population of live Asian clams.”

Invasive Asian clams can cause a number of major problems for waterways in which they become established, including the excretion of significant amounts of inorganic nutrients, particularly nitrogen, that can stimulate the growth of algae and foul the water.

Officially known as Corbicula fluminea, the Asian clam is native to southern Asia, the eastern Mediterranean and Australia.

While in Sandy Bay that day, LGA staff discussed the project with the boaters and swimmers, advising the boaters how to protect the Lake’s water quality and prevent the spread of the invasive Asian clam by:

  • Cleaning sand, dirt and plant material off of anchors and rope, fishing equipment and other boating equipment before leaving one area of the Lake and stopping in another;
  • Ensuring that all boats are cleaned when leaving a water body, including Lake George; and
  • Reporting any issues they see to the LGA (518-668-3558) or the Lake George Park Commission (518-668-9347).

For more information on the life cycle of the Asian clam in Lake George, please see the publications section (under Invasive Species) of the Lake George Association’s website: https://www.lakegeorgeassociation.org/news-and-events/publications/

The Lake George Association is the oldest and most experienced lake protection organization in the country, whose members support water quality protection, water quality monitoring, education and lake-friendly living programs that benefit the watershed from Lake George Village to Ticonderoga.

All the money raised by the Lake George Association goes to projects and programs that benefit the Lake and the watershed, protecting Lake George water quality now and in the future.

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All the money raised by the Lake George Association goes to projects and programs that benefit the Lake and the watershed, protecting Lake George water quality now and in the future.
Lake George Association

Lake George Association