A lakewide survey of Asian clam (Corbicula fluminea) distribution at warmwater discharges in Lake Michigan

Bradley J. Smith, Brandon S. Harris, Tyler J. Harris, Lisa A. LaBudde, Cari Ann Hayer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Asian clam Corbicula fluminea is among the most prolific aquatic invaders in the world; but in colder mid-latitude areas, like the Laurentian Great Lakes, their population expansion has likely been limited by poor overwinter survival. In these areas, Asian clams are typically found in thermal refugia like warmwater discharges from industrial facilities. We sought to identify the current extent of Asian clam populations in Lake Michigan and waters immediately adjacent to it, specifically at locations most likely to harbor overwintering populations – industrial warmwater discharges. During April–May 2017, we surveyed 17 locations around Lake Michigan. Evidence of Asian clam populations was found at four sites, though live specimens (n = 3) were only found at the Indiana Harbor Ship Canal in East Chicago, IN. Shells or fragments of shells were found at Green Bay, WI, Waukegan, IL, and Port Sheldon, MI. Our findings indicate that although Asian clams are present in Lake Michigan, they are relatively rare, and remain isolated to a few small pockets of over-wintering habitat.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)798-804
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Great Lakes Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Asian clam
  • Invasive species
  • Lake Michigan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology


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