Invasive Asian Clams Found in Central Kootenay Region Highlight Importance of Clean Drain Dry

Asian clam, Leslie Mehrhoff, Bugwood.org

Published June 30, 2021

The Province of BC’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy (MOE) has confirmed that live invasive Asian clams (Corbicula fluminea) have been found in the Pend D’Oreille River of the Central Kootenay region this spring. MOE will continue to assess the distribution of Asian clams, with preliminary surveys already completed where the Salmo River meets the Pend D’Oreille River. This is not the first time Asian clams have been found in BC, with live clams showing up in Shuswap Lake and freshwater lakes in the Fraser Valley and on Vancouver Island. 

Aquatic invasive species can be unknowingly transported in boats and gear and can survive long distances over land, making it easy to accidentally introduce the invader to a new lake or river. Asian clams threaten native biodiversity, damage power plants and water treatments systems and reduce drinking water quality.  

It is very difficult to remove Asian clams from infested open waters as they spread rapidly, so prevention is the best approach. Anglers are reminded that it is illegal to use live bait in BC. Aquarium owners are reminded: Don’t Let it Loose! Live animals or plants should never be released into the wild or dumped into lakes, rivers and streams. We can all help to prevent the spread of invasive species through our watercraft and gear by practicing Clean, Drain, Dry. Follow these three easy steps:  

  • Clean plants, animals and mud from your boat and gear  
  • Drainall water from your boat and gear onto land  
  • Dry all parts of your boat and gear completely  

How to Identify 
Asian clams are typically 2.5 cm wide when mature. Their shells have deep, concentric ridges and are brown or tan in colour. They are found in freshwater at the sediment surface or slightly buried in silt, sand, or gravel. 

Credit: USGS, Bugwood.org

Have you seen an Asian clam? 
Early detection is critical to stopping the spread of invasive species.  If you see a plant that looks ‘out of place’ or a creature you don’t recognize and have concerns about, we encourage you to report it at bcinvasies.ca/report

Clean Drain Dry

To learn more about provincial regulations and programs concerning invasive species, or to commit to the Clean Drain Dry program, visit CleanDrainDry.ca. Visit the Province’s Asian Clam Invasive Species Alert for more information about Asian clams.  
  
 


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