The Asian Clam was first introduced to the United States as a food source for Chinese immigrants on the West Coast as early as the mid-1800s. Currently the clam has established itself in 38 states, including Louisiana. In Louisiana alone the clam has been found in 13 parishes and in the Mississippi, Red, Pearl, and Atchafalaya rivers. The spread of the clam is contributed to many different factors including aquaria releases, intentional releases, and bait bucket dumping. Although these clams serve as a food source for other animals they cause a huge economic burden to industries due to their ability to foul surfaces causing power plant intake pipes and other industrial water systems to become clogged. Asian clams have also been known to cause problems in irrigation canals and pipes in some parts of the United States.
Common Name(s): Asian Clam, Asiatic Clam
Date of Introduction to the United States: 1938
Place of Origin: China
Method of Introduction: Deliberate for food, and accidentally introduced through aquaculture
Problem(s): Out-competes native species, is a known fouling agent, and can also alter benthic substrate.
Current Range: Found in a few places in southern Louisiana, including the Barataria-Terrebonne system, and has also been documented in 38 other states.
Control Methods: Mechanical
Source: Center for Bioenvironmental Research at Tulane