A population of invasive clams was found in Shuswap Lake near Salmon Arm in 2020. (CSISS photo)

A population of invasive clams was found in Shuswap Lake near Salmon Arm in 2020. (CSISS photo)

Public told to look out for invasive mussels and clams in Shuswap Lake

A population of the invasive clams was found near Salmon Arm last in 2020

The Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society (CSISS) is focusing on educating the public on the spread of potentially harmful invasive clams which were found in Shuswap Lake for the first time last year.

CSISS arranged a meeting on Jan. 20 which brought together representatives of all levels of government as well as local non-profits, First Nations and others to spread knowledge about the invasive clams.

The clams are corbicula fluminea, also known as golden, pygmy or Asian clams. A live population of them was discovered in Shuswap Lake near Salmon Arm. According to CSISS, there is potential for the clams to spread to the rest of the lake and other nearby water bodies. They are considered invasive because of their negative impact on other North American waterways.

The clams have been present in the Lower Mainland for more than a decade but their discovery in the Shuswap represents a worrying jump in their distribution, according to CSISS.

Read More: Inseparable but neglected dogs at Shuswap BC SPCA in desperate need of surgery

Read More: Charity fishing derby planned for Okangan and Shuswap Lake

Surveys on the extent of the clam population conducted last fall found they are still only located at the Salmon Arm end of the lake. According to CSISS aquatic program coordinator Sue Davies, the spread of the clams can be halted by cleaning, draining and drying boats before moving them between bodies of water and stopping at watercraft inspection stations when travelling. Surveys of the clam population are expected to continue this year.

According to Cassandra Silverio, an aquatic invasive species specialist with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, the clams do not pose as great a risk to B.C. waterways as the more publicized zebra and quagga mussels which have been kept out of the province so far. The main difference is that the invasive mussels can attach to solid surfaces like native freshwater mussels, infrastructure and watercraft.

CSISS is asking the public to report any suspected invasive species through either the Report Invasives BC smartphone app or by calling the Report All Poachers and Polluters hotline 1-877-952-7277.



jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

EnvironmentShuswap Lake

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Jaimee Peters photo of a Willow Midwives helping with a birth. Willow is closing its doors March 31 because of a shortage of midwives. (Contributed)
Petition to save South Okanagan’s only midwife clinic nears 3,000 signatures

After 12 years, Willow Community Midwives has to close its doors due to a shortage of midwives

Calls for potential overdoses in B.C. spiked in 2020, especially in the Okanagan - Shuswap. Pictured above is a BCEHS re-enactment of paramedics attending an overdose. (BCHES photo)
UBCO program increases drug checking availability in Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon

January 2021 data shows of 95 opioid samples tested across Interior Health, 93 contained fentanyl

Youth from Vernon, Kelowna, Penticton and the Kootenays were able to dig into two evenings of online learning and connection through United Way Southern Interior B.C.’s <CODE>anagan program. (Submitted)<code> </code>
CODEanagan gives youth a chance to learn about technology

The youth, aged 12 to 21, built their own WordPress sites and developed blogging ideas

A rainbow shining on Kelowna General Hospital on May 12, 2020 International Nurses Day. (Steve Wensley - Prime Light Media)
New COVID cases trending down in Interior Health

24 new cases reported Thursday, Feb. 25, death at Kelowna General Hospital

Okanagan patients will benefit from the recent inclusion of the Medical Arts Health Research Group in a worldwide study with the National Institute of Health (NIH). The study will be a global collaboration for finding better treatments for COVID-19. (File photo)
Okanagan research group involved with finding better COVID treatments

Okanagan Medical Arts Health Research Group invited to collaborate in global study

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Carolyn Howe, a kindergarten teacher and vice president of the Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association, says educators are feeling the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic and the influx of pressure that comes with it. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Stress leave, tears and insomnia: Island teachers feel the strain of COVID-19

Teachers still adjusting to mask and cleaning rules, pressures from outside and within

Larch Place is the first building to be built in the BC Housing, Canadian Mental Health Association housing project at the corner of Third Street SW and Fifth Avenue SW. This view is from the Shuswap Street side where it sits behind the Graystone East building. (File photo)
Opening of doors at new housing development in Salmon Arm welcomed

BC Housing announces opening of 32 rental units, with 35 more expected in summer 2021

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Vancouver International Women in Film Festival kicks off March 5.
Women in Film Festival features two B.C. filmmakers

The 16th annual festival kicks off March 5, 2021

The booklet roots present day activism in the history of racist policies, arguing the history must be acknowledged in order to change. (CCPA)
New resource dives into 150 years of racist policy in B.C.

Racist history must be acknowledged in order to change, authors say

Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller, before she knew she would change literature. Photo Wikipedia
And Then There Were None

What book knocked your booties off when you were young?

Most Read