Evidence of new invasive species found in Shuswap Lake | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Evidence of new invasive species found in Shuswap Lake

The shells from dead invasive Asian clams are pictured in this undated photo submitted by the Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society
January 30, 2020 - 10:00 AM

Shells found for the first time on a Shuswap Lake beach are a worrying indication that a new invasive species may be present in the area.

According to the Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society, shells found on a beach last fall have been identified as an invasive Asian clam and may indicate a new infestation in the lake.

"The provincial staff have told us they have not confirmed any live individuals and indicated that monitoring will continue for the coming season,” Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society aquatic coordinator Sue Davies said in a media release.

While only dead shells have been discovered in the Shuswap, the invasive clams are present in several lakes in the Lower Mainland and prominent in Washington State.

An adult clam is only about the size of a fingernail and is self-fertile, meaning a single clam can start a new population. The clams are originated in Asia and have negative impacts on waterways in North American.

"It’s possible that Asian clams came to the Shuswap as fishing bait, as live food, or accidentally inside a watercraft," Davies said in the release.

"It is super important not to transport invasive species. Never release live animals or plants into waterways, and remember to Clean Drain and Dry your watercraft when moving it between waterbodies... we encourage all boaters, anglers, and paddlers to clean drain (and) dry their watercraft and gear every time they move from one lake to another because it is the most effective way to prevent the spread of invasive species."

The Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society is encouraging members of the public to report any suspected invasive species to the province and any suspected invasive zebra or quagga mussels to the Report All Poachers and Polluters hotline 1-877-952-7277 or online available here.

For more information on the Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society go here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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