Friday, March 4, 2011

Asian Clam Task Force formed

At the urging of the Owasco Watershed Lake Association (OWLA), the Cayuga County Water Quality Management Agency has formed a task force to immediately address the Asian clam infestation in Owasco Lake. Asian clams were confirmed in Owasco Lake late last year. The task force will immediately begin activities to identify areas of the lake affected, as well as possible remediation techniques. The group hopes to follow some research and actions identified by a similar group working on Lake George. 

Asian clams are a freshwater mollusk that are usually found in sandy, warm, sunlit waters, similar to several areas in the northern end of Owasco Lake. The clams can spread very quickly. Capable of self-fertilization, clams can release up to 40 young a day. Rapidly growing colonies can carpet a lake bottom, reaching densities of  thousands per square yard.

Photo courtesy of the USGS
The OWLA Board of Directors met earlier this week and identified both the Asian Clam and Blue Green Algae as two priority issues needing immediate attention by local government. OWLA volunteers and lake shore residents will be a key resource in helping to identify areas of infestation. Please report any sitings to the resources listed below:

Link to the Asian Clam Task Force article in the Auburn Citizen:

Stay tuned here for updated information  on both issues.

To report a siting of the Asian Clam contact  the Watershed Inspector; Jessica Reinhart at OLWIP (315)-252-4171 x 120 or

To report sitings of the Blue Green Algae please contact the Cayuga County Health Department at 315-253-1405.

For information on Blue-green algae go to this NYS Department of Health web-site

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