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Tuesday, January 30 • 2:40pm - 3:00pm
ASIAN CARP & OTHER AQUATIC INVASIVES: A Lakewide Survey of Asian Clam (Corbicula fluminea) Distribution at Warmwater Discharges in Lake Michigan

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AUTHORS. Bradley J. Smith, Brandon S. Harris, Tyler J. Harris, Lisa A. LaBudde, Cari-Ann Hayer - U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

ABSTRACT. The Asian Clam Corbicula fluminea is among the most prolific aquatic invaders in the world, but in colder mid-latitude areas, like the Laurentian Great lakes, their population expansion has been limited by poor overwinter survival.  In these areas Asian Clams are typically found in thermal refugia – like warmwater discharges from industrial facilities.  We wanted to identify the current extent of Asian Clam populations in Lake Michigan and waters immediately adjacent to it, specifically at locations most likely to harbor overwintering populations – warmwater discharges.  During April-May 2017 we surveyed 17 locations around Lake Michigan.  We found four sites that had evidence of Asian Clam populations, though live specimens (N=3) were only found at one location, the Indiana Harbor Ship Canal in East Chicago, Indiana.  Shells or fragments of shells were found at Green Bay, WI, Waukegan, IL, and Port Sheldon, MI.  Our findings indicate that although Asian Clams are present in Lake Michigan, they are relatively rare, and occur at low densities where found.   As lake temperatures warm with the changing climate they may become less thermally limited, but currently they remain isolated to a few small pockets of over-wintering habitat.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 2:40pm - 3:00pm CST