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Plan to kill Asian clam in place

TICONDEROGA-The Lake George Asian Clam Rapid Response Task Force, a coalition of community organizations, scientists and regulatory agencies, has released a plan to eradicate the non-native species.

The invasive Asian clam was discovered in August 2010 and poses a threat to the long-term ecological health of the lake. The plan details a response effort to try and eradicate the Asian clam infestation, starting in early April 2011. The treatment effort combines limited suction harvesting to remove six inches of sediment and Asian clams from areas near-shore, under docks, and in front of beaches along with use of benthic barrier weighted down on the lake bottom for an extended period of time to cut off oxygen supplies to the clams. Both methods have been used successfully in other locations.

The eradication plan provides information on the status of the Asian clams in Lake George. It is believed that they have been in the lake for 2-3 years and have completed 4-6 reproduction cycles. Asian clam can reproduce twice annually with one clam releasing 2,000-4,000 offspring each cycle.

"The Plan to Eradicate the Asian Infestation in Lake George is for the public to fully explain the enormous threat posed to Lake George and the response organized by a wide coalition of interests to try and eradicate this invasive species," said Peter Bauer, executive director of the FUND for Lake George. "The eradication plan details the threats posed by the Asian clam to Lake George, the extent of the infestation, the science behind our decisions, the methods and scope of the eradication effort planned to begin in April, and details the various permits that we need to obtain to start. We're hopeful of success, but know that Asian clams have spread widely through the U.S. and are tough to dislodge where they become established."

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