Invasive Asian Clams Colonizing Delta at Mouth of Hague Brook

The Lake George Park Commission’s annual lake-wide invasive species survey, conducted with volunteers over a course of four days in August, found new populations of Asian clams, the Commission reports.

In its “2018 Asian Clam Lake- Wide Survey: Final Report,” released on Aug. 28, the Commission announced there are now 24 known sites of Asian clam infestations in Lake George.

Even if the treatment is 98% successful, any remaining clams will reproduce and re-establish themselves, said Wick.

This year’s lake-wide survey identified one new large but dispersed site at the mouth of Hague Brook.

When colonies of Asian clams have been eradicated or shrunk in size, severe winters have been responsible, said Wick.

According to the report, the clams in all likelihood are distributed over a 20-acre site throughout the delta that has formed at the mouth of Hague Brook, from the south to north side at least as far as Trout House Village.

Dave Wick, the executive director of the Lake George Park Commission, said that it was probable that Hague’s new population had migrated from a nearby site discovered in 2012.

Given the close proximity and the six years since discovery of The report continued, that site, it was anticipated that the Hague Brook delta would eventually be occupied by Asian clams,” the report stated.

The report continued, “Thankfully, no other new Asian clam sites on Lake George were identified through this year’s lake- wide survey.”

The report stated that most of the 24 known Asian clam infestations are located “in the southern basin on the more developed western shoreline.”

Those areas of the lake tend to be characterized by sandy beds, which are conducive to the birth and growth of Asian clam colonies.

In excess of 120 acres of lake bed are now populated by Asian clams, which were first discovered here in 2010.

The Lake George Park Commission and its partners in the Asian Clam Task Force, which include the Lake George Association, The Fund for Lake George and the Darrin Fresh Water Institute, have no plans to attempt to eradicate the newly-discovered colonies with treatments, said Wick.

Wick said the most commonly used method of treating affectedareas, the installation of benthic barriers above the colonies, has been expensive and ultimately unsuccessful.

Given that Asian clam control and eradication efforts cost between $60 to 80,000 an acre, the cost of treating Asian clam affected areas lake-wide is cost-prohibitive and logistically beyond our current management abilities,” he said.

Even if the treatment is 98% successful, any remaining clams will reproduce and re-establish themselves, said Wick.

When colonies of Asian clams have been eradicated or shrunk in size, severe winters have been responsible, said Wick.

But a summer of temperatures within historic norms reversed those gains, said Wick.

Wick said it is feared that after several generations, Lake George’s Asian clams will evolve into a variety that can tolerate colder waters.

Research now being undertaken at the Darrin Fresh Water Institute is expected to help agencies such as the Lake George Park Commission better understand and combat Asian clams, said Wick.

 

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