Friday, April 25, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Tahoe clam control begins

Photo 1 - Barrier Deployment ec

A SCUBA DIVER covers clams with a fancy wet blanket in a 2010 pilot project at Marla Bay in Lake Tahoe. The blanket smothers the clams. File photo courtesy Tahoe Regional Planning Agency

By
From page A1 | October 31, 2012 | 4 Comments

On Tuesday, scientists from UC Davis and the University of Nevada along with officials from different state agencies and planning agencies, gathered to view the largest Asian clam control project in the history of Lake Tahoe.

The goal of the project is to rid the lake of the clams before they spread. The clams live on a shallow, gravel sill roughly 15 feet below the surface that partially separates Emerald Bay from Lake Tahoe.

The program includes treating an area of up to 5 acres at the mouth of Emerald Bay by covering the infested lake bottom with thin rubber barriers, augmented with organic material made of Aspen fiber, to reduce the available oxygen and smother the clams.

Valves are built into the barrier material and serve as a port, allowing divers to insert a syringe and collect water samples from under the mat without disturbing the project.

Kristi Boosman, who is the public information officer for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency said it will take four to six weeks to lay the barriers, which will remain in place for a year. The barriers are being laid now because boat traffic on the lake is lower this time of the season.

According to UC Davis, controlling the Asian clam population at Lake Tahoe is critical because of their negative impact in creating greater calcium concentrations, which increase the potential for other species like quagga mussels to live in Lake Tahoe. They promote the growth of algae that impacts the scenic beauty of the shoreline by changing the water color, reducing water quality, and washing rotting materials onto the beaches. They also compete with native animals for habitat and food.

“Emerald Bay is an iconic location and currently is one of the most photographed areas of the world,” said Boosman.

Funds for the $810,000 clam removal project came from the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, and the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act.

Boaters are warned to stay 200 feet away from the dive flags and barge at the mouth of Emerald Bay to avoid endangering the divers. Work is primarily being done during early morning and on weekdays, with no work occurring on the weekends or holidays in order to reduce boater inconvenience. A TRPA boat will be on hand to help direct boat traffic in and out of Emerald Bay during the installation.

Scientists from UC Davis and the University of Nevada, Reno, first devised and tested the concept of using rubber barriers to smother Asian clams in 2009-2010, when they placed an acre of the barriers on the lake bottom at Marla Bay and Lakeside. The first-of-its-kind method killed 100 percent of the clams.

The success of those efforts and additional research led to the project currently under way, which involves a team of 40 interagency partners including federal, state and local jurisdictions, research partners, public utility districts, and private marinas.

TRPA estimates there are 100 acres of clams in the lake. Boosman said they are developing a long-term strategy for treating the lake and raising additional funds to complete the project.

The clams were first discovered in 2002 but it wasn’t until 2008 that different agencies recognized the problem and came together to solve it. Boosman said they suspect that the clams were unintentionally introduced into the lake by a boat that brought them in from another water body. The introduction of the clams and other harmful species into the lake has led to stepped up boat inspections at Tahoe.

Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or dhodson@mtdemocrat.net. Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 4 comments

  • cookie65October 31, 2012 - 3:29 am

    Is there a plan to remove the dead clams or to just let them decompose creating a negative effect on water clarity which will be blamed on human activity in order to secure even more taxpayer money?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Phillip VeerkampOctober 31, 2012 - 11:00 am

    cookie65 - The actual mass of decomposing organic clam flesh represents a miniscule portion of naturally occurring fish feces dead and decomposing fish, frogs, turtles, ducks and geese. Fear not, cookie.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • cookie65October 31, 2012 - 8:01 pm

    Phil, how many millions have those "miniscule portions" and "natural occurances" cost us so far? The leftist agenda is not based on reason, logic or science. My only fear is people who don't understand that simple truth. They have the power to elect people like obama.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Phil VeerkampOctober 31, 2012 - 11:56 pm

    OK, Cookie. I'll . . . . . . . . . . . . clam up.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

News

Heard over the back fence: Advice offered writers

By Bob Billingsley | From Page: B1

 
Big marijuana find in EDH

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Jury: Sanford guilty of murder

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Initiative seeks roundabout vote

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1, 2 Comments

 
Sheriff cracking down on Tahoe pot grows

By Tahoe Tribune | From Page: A3

 
Burn permits required May 1

By Cal Fire | From Page: A7

County backs task force to reduce human trafficking

By Chris Daley | From Page: A13

 
5 years prison for child porn

By News Release | From Page: A14

A victim tells her story

By Chris Daley | From Page: A14

 
.

Opinion

 
Income inequality

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

Billingsley’s Bullets: Marriage makes me laugh

By Bob Billingsley | From Page: A4

 
.

Letters

What happened to ‘fair and balanced?’

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 14 Comments

 
Red tape

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Is Ukraine in Asia, Europe or Latin America?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 20 Comments

 
Vote for Parlin

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

County and ‘Miwoks’ getting together

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Ray Nutting’s donation for DA

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 7 Comments

.

Sports

 
Brown leads Golden Sierra

By Rebecca Reddish | From Page: A9

Cougars 1, Grizzlies 1

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A9

 
Cougars capitalize against Union Mine

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Troy unpends Davis

By Brandon Anicich | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
El Dorado wins tri-meet

By Mike Bush | From Page: A9 | Gallery

D’backs drop the ‘Hammer’

By Mike Bush | From Page: A9

 
El Dorado spikers blank D’backs

By Mike Bush | From Page: A10

Roundup: April 23, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A10

 
On tap

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A10

.

Prospecting

Amazing production brings the curtain down for Pete Miller

By Pat Lakey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Things to do: April 25, 2014

By Democrat Calendar | From Page: B2

Cool Beerwerks is very cool

By Krysten Kellum | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Placerville celebrates Earth Day

By News Release | From Page: B3

Handcar Derby to get pumping

By Folsom Handcar Derby | From Page: B3

 
IT presents a Reader’s Theater of ‘Our Town’

By Imagination Theater | From Page: B4 | Gallery

Enjoy spring with Steiner Road wineries

By Steiner Road Wineries | From Page: B4

 
Art and brew are a perfect pair

By News Release | From Page: B5

Spring cleaning is good

Press Release | From Page: B5, 1 Comment

 
Pinewood Derby rolls at Kniesel’s

Press Release | From Page: B6

The Sacramento Music Festival celebrates world-class music

By Sacramento Music Festival | From Page: B12

 
Oak Ridge Boys come to TJ’s Corral

By Carson Valley Inn | From Page: B13

Folsom hosts Spring Antique Fair

By Folsom Historic District Association | From Page: B13

 
Viviana Guzman performs at Petroglyphe Gallery

By Petroglyphe Gallery | From Page: B13

Pioneer Jews of the Gold rush

By Folsom History | From Page: B14, 1 Comment

 
Time to join the El Dorado Community Concert Association

By El Dorado Community Concert Association | From Page: B14

.

Essentials

.

Obituaries

Frances Estelle Gilluly Fraulob

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Dorothy L. Irvin

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Jeanine Rae Henderson-Hodges

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Thomas David Ewing

By Contributor | From Page: A2

John Lawrence Olson

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Jack O’Camb

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Wesley M. Nyquist

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
.

Real Estate

Spring statistics suggest slower sales

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

 
Time to spring outdoors and fix them up

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS7

Nation’s existing home sales remain soft

Press Release | From Page: HS20

 
.

Comics

Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A11

 
Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A11

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A11

 
Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A11

Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A11

 
Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A11

Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A11

 
Horoscope, Friday, April 25, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A12

New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A12

 
Horoscope, Sunday, April 27, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A12

Horoscope, Saturday, April 26, 2104

By Contributor | From Page: A12

 
.

Home Source

Spring statistics suggest slower sales

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

Time to spring outdoors and fix them up

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS7

Nation’s existing home sales remain soft

Press Release | From Page: HS20