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Experts concerned with invasive clams, Zebra Mussels

Smith noted crews with Aquatic Invasive Management were in Lake George removing Eurasian milfoil when the clams were discovered. Those crews switched jobs and mapped out areas infested with the Asian clam, Smith said.

"They've surveyed just about the entire lake and they've only found Asian clams in this one initial area - which is a very good thing," he said. "We feel we've managed to obtain early detection, in that the species has not reproduced and taken over the entire water body. It's impossible to remove a species once it's reached those levels."

Andrew Lewis of Aquatic Invasive Management said his crews are likely to employ an eradication method similar to that used on Eurasian milfoil. Called benthic matting, it essentially bars the mussels from acquiring nutrients and food.

"That's what is being discussed right now, although nothing is finalized," he said. "Apparently in Lake Tahoe the same method is being used to counteract the clams."

Just days after scientists began assessing the Asian clam threat in Lake George, a much more familiar invasive species reared its head in Lake Placid.

Smith said a water steward, Jeff Sann, discovered zebra mussels on a boat during a routine inspection at a boat launch on Lake Placid.

"He did the best he could to remove all of the mussels he could see," Smith said. "But he just felt he wasn't sure he got them all; it was pretty bad. In conversations with the boat owners, they said the boat had been in Saratoga Lake for 30 to 45 days. He politely asked the men to go clean their boat at a car wash, and they politely refused."

Smith added the steward had no real legal footing on which to force the boat owners to do anything. He said the village of Lake Placid has laws barring individuals from transporting invasives, as does the state.

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