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

Interior Health reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5. (Black Press Files)
Interior Health reports 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5

Over 300,000 vaccine doses have been administered provincewide.

Dave Wallace and David Askew with Askew’s Foods present a $500 cheque on March 2 to Chrissy Deye and Monica Kriese with the volunteer-run Food With Friends free lunch program. (Contributed)
Salmon Arm Food with Friends free lunch program receives support

Funds from Askew’s to help volunteers keep meals coming four days per week

Okanagan College, Vernon campus. (Brendan Shykora - Vernon Morning Star)
Student housing coming to Vernon, Salmon Arm

Province announces $66M for new student beds for Okanagan College campuses

A fire truck and police car park at the entrance to the Foreshore Trail about 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 4 as fire crews respond to a report of a fire farther down the trail and just above the railway tracks, between Lakeshore Road and the tracks. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
Salmon Arm Fire Department quickly extinguishes fire above Foreshore Trail

Blaze started when man’s campfire catches fuel containers on fire

About 50 people gathered Friday, March 5, 2021 in Penticton to protest city council’s decision to close a temporary winter shelter. (Jesse Day - Western News)
WATCH: Protest over Penticton shelter draws large crowd

People are gathering in Gyro Park to protest the closure of a winter shelter

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

Two shepherds on Queest Mountain pose for a photo in front of the A-Frame tent they camp out in while tending their flock in the year 1930. 
(Sicamous and District Historical Society photo)
Shuswap History in photos: Shepherds’ Camp

A pair of 1930s shepherds pose for a photo in the camp they called home while tending a flock.

Paramjit Bogarh, connected to the murder of his wife in Vernon 35 years ago, has been relerased on full parole, one year after he was sentenced to five years in prison for accessory after the fact. (Contributed)
Full parole for ex-Okanagan man who helped wife’s alleged killer escape

Paramjit Bogarh pleaded guilty to accessory to murder after helping brother flee Canada

The Princeton Traditional Music Festival, normally held in August, was denied a grant due to COVID. (File photo)
COVID makes some of the 2021 grant decisions for Princeton council

Municipality doles out funds while striving to meet policy

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

Most Read