FWP Will Drain a Popular Montana Lake
Let's face it. Nobody wants to deal with Corbicula fluminea. Are you with me on this, people?
Yeah, I didn't know what the scientific term was, either. But with so much heightened awareness concerning Aquatic Invasive Species in Montana, Fish, Wildlife and Parks has made the decision to "pull the plug," so to speak, on a popular reservoir in eastern Montana.
After much discussion and recommendations, Montana FWP has made the decision to address invasive Asian clams in Lake Elmo, a very popular and heavily-used reservoir within the Billings city limits. FWP will drain the lake this coming September, which will hopefully allow the clams to dry out and freeze during the winter of 2021-22.
The Billings Bench Water Association manages the water, and will refill Lake Elmo in the spring of 2022, tentatively in April. Montana FWP will do a number of improvements to the lake area while it is dry (jetties, boardwalks, improved fish habitat, etc.).
This is the first time these invasive Asian clams have been found in Montana. Fish,Wildlife and Parks information officer Greg Lemon told me that how they got introduced into the state is unclear, but Greg speculated that possibly someone emptied an aquarium into the lake.
While not large, Lake Elmo is hardly a bathtub, either. It is a 64-acre reservoir (think roughly three-and-a-half times the size of Frenchtown Pond). And given its proximity to the Billings metro area, you can imagine how much pressure it receives.
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