Asian clam, Corbicula fluminea, was first collected in the United States in 1938 along the banks of the Columbia River. Since its first detection, it has been found in 38 states and the District of Columbia. The mechanism for dispersal and introduction within North America is unknown.
Asian clam is notorious as a biofouler of electrical and nuclear power plants and industrial water systems. It has also been documented to cause problems in irrigation canals, pipes and drinking water supplies. In addition, it alters water body substrates, and competes with native species for resources.
A small light-colored bivalve (brown-yellow), some dark shell morphs exist but are limited to the southwestern United States. The light-colored shell morph has a yellow-green to light brown periostracum and white to light blue or light purple nacre.
Control and Management
Prevention:Prevention of the transport of Asian Clam is the most cost-effective means of management.
Mechanical: Mollusks can be removed from piping by passing wads through pipes under pressure.
Chemical: Molluscicides can be effective with water at ~40°C. Oxygen depletion via benthic barriers is also an option.
Photo credit:U.S. Geological Survey Archive, U.S. Geological Survey, Bugwood.org
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