July 16: Free training to identify spiny waterflea, Asian clam and other aquatic invasive animals

Asian clams are much smaller than native mussels, and a different shape from native snails. Photo by Emily DeBolt, Lake George Association

Asian clams are much smaller than native mussels, and a different shape from native snails. Photo by Emily DeBolt, Lake George Association

KEENE VALLEY, NY Aquatic invasive species animals, such as spiny waterflea, are spreading in Adirondack waters. The Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) is hosting an aquatic invasive animal identification training on Tuesday, July 29 from 1 to 3 PM at the Hollywood Inn in Chateaugay Lake. Erin Vennie-Vollrath, APIPP’s Aquatic Invasive Species Project Coordinator, and Mark Malchoff, Aquatic Resources Specialist for the Lake Champlain Sea Grant Program, will train participants on how to identify aquatic invasive animals, such as spiny waterflea and Asian clam, and how to perform simple scans to detect their presence. Knowing the regional distribution of these species informs prevention, early detection and rapid response efforts to protect waters in the long-term.

At least 94 Adirondack lakes and ponds are infested with invasive plants, such as Eurasian watermilfoil and water chestnut, and aquatic invasive animals, too, which are also on the move. In recent years, spiny waterflea and Asian clam were discovered in the Adirondacks, but little is known about their regional distribution. Once invasive species become established, management is complex and costly – in the case of spiny waterflea, there are no known control methods. Detecting new infestations early and implementing prevention measures are critical to combat their spread. Volunteers can play an important role in protecting Adirondack waters from aquatic invasions by assisting survey efforts.

The training is free but space is limited. Please RSVP by July 22 to Erin Vennie-Vollrath at [email protected] or (518)576-2082 x119.

The APIPP is a partnership program among governmental and nongovernmental organizations that is housed by the Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. Learn more about APIPP online at www.adkinvasives.com.