continued The task force will be placing the mats again this fall, accompanied by suctioning off clam colonies on dock supports, water pipes and other underwater features.
Eradication effort to be costly
In the meantime, the task force will be conducting an extensive survey of the lake to determine the extent of infestations, he said.
“It’s going to be a big process,” he said, noting that 60 locations on the lake have been spot-checked. Lake George has well over 100 miles of shoreline. Lender did not specify how much the task force needed in addition to the $500,000 already spent in the clam abatement effort.
However, the the Boon Bay infestation, a similar size of the one at motel row, is likely to cost $500,000. Also, eradication of the remaining clams that survived the mat smothering project could cost another $200,000, Lender estimated.
Lake George Supervisor said that Warren County officials should join their political representatives to lobby for state aid in the eradication effort.
“The state should contribute to preserve the lake’s quality,” he said.
In bankrolling the project to date, private grants have been joined with $75,000 from the Lake George Park Commission and about one-third that sum from the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
Citizens need to help fight clams
Lender said that assistance is needed from local citizens to augment the task force’s clam eradication efforts. He asked that all lakeshore residents, swimmers and boaters help identify infestations of the small mollusks, by looking under their docks, and on their beaches and in the shallow water for the presence of the clams, which are about the size of a dime or a nickel. One tell-tale sign of an infestation, he said, is open butterfly-shaped clam shells on the beach or lake-bottom.
Anyone who thinks that they have found Asian clams should contact the RPI Darrin Fresh Water Institute, the FUND for Lake George, Lake George Park Commission, or the Lake George Association. More information can be obtained at www.stoptheasianclam.info.
Lake George Town Supervisor Frank McCoy said he and the town board were fully supportive of the clam eradication effort.
“Lake George is our most important asset, and we have to protect it,” he said. “We’re committed — We know our lifeblood is our lake.”