A new invasive species was found in Stratton Lake this summer – the Asian clam.
Asian clams (Corbicula fluminea) are a prohibited species in Wisconsin meaning there are only a few “pioneer populations.”
On Aug. 5, Wisconsin held its statewide Snapshot Day.
Volunteers checked public access points on lakes and rivers throughout Wisconsin for aquatic invasive species.
Stratton Lake’s public boat launch was one of the sites searched, the examination of the access led to the discovery of Asian clams.
Two of the three people who found the clams were aquatic invasive species coordinators with Golden Sands Resource Conservation and Development, Anna Cisar and Chris Hamerla.
A specimen was brought back to Paul Skawinski, the Citizen Lake Monitoring Network coordinator, who confirmed the find.
The Snapshot Day organizers, alerted the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR). Further monitoring discovered that a small population of clams were centrally located around the boat landing.
Asian clams are filter feeders with the ability to reproduce rapidly which can impact food webs and ecosystem functioning.
Their ability to reach high population densities also means they clog pipes and water infrastructure due to their numbers.
Volunteers who monitor their own lakes and rivers, as well as those who participate in events such as Snapshot Day make a big difference in helping prevent the spread of invasive species and reduce their impacts.
Cisar is now working with the state DNR to monitor lakes surrounding Stratton Lake for Asian clams. And work with local lake and community groups to inform them on this new invasive species and how to prevent them. The best means of prevention is following the Clean Boats, Clean Waters Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers steps of inspect, remove, drain and never move.
Because they burrow into sediment at the bottom of a lake, Asian clams can be transported by sediment on anchors and other equipment.
To prevent further spread of Asian clams and other invasive species, people should inspect their boats and equipment for plants, animals and mud, remove any offenders, and drain all water from the boat, including the livewell.
To learn more about invasive species and their impacts to Wisconsin’s waters and economy, visit http://dnr.wi.gov/lakes/invasives or contact Anna.Cisar@GoldenSandsRCD.org.