New Asian Clam infestations found in Lake George

— Several more infestations of Asian clams have been discovered in Lake George, and more money is needed to fight the spread of the environmentally destructive clam colonies, Walt Lender of the Lake George Association told town officials Monday.

While Asian clams were first discovered a year ago in shallow areas of the lake in front of the shoreline resorts near the northwestern end of Canada St., infestations of the environmentally destructive pest have now been located in Treasure Cove near Diamond Point, and offshore near Norowal Marina in Bolton Landing. Several weeks ago, a colony of clams of about 5 acres was discovered in Boon Bay — just north of the Lake George town line.

Lender warned town officials of the consequences of not taking quick action, as he predicted escalating costs of abating the species.

“If we let these infestations go, they will ruin our lake and the repercussions are unbelievable,” Lender said, citing how Lake Tahoe’s infestation of about 200 acres now requires a budget of $1 million just to keep it from getting worse.

Lender said the clams multiply extremely fast, each one potentially giving birth to up to 4,000 others per season.

Without aggressive control in early stages of infestation, millions of clams can propagate, causing gooey masses of algae growing in the lake. Also, they are likely to substantially hamper recreation, clog water intake pipes, and promote growth of other nuisance species.

In April, the Lake George Asian Clam Rapid Response Task Force launched their control program, laying down more than 825 mats that smother the clams over time.

After the mats were found to be displaced by passing boats and waves, the task force started using sand bags to weigh the barriers down.

Where the mats were in place for several months, they’ve killed 97 percent of the clams, Lender said.

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