Tuesday, July 7, 2009 | 2 a.m.
The shells are the carcasses of Asian clams abandoned by the retreating lake.
No one knows exactly how the freshwater bivalve mollusks, which are native to southern and eastern Asia and Africa, got here. But experts say they arrived in the 1960s and their best guess is they were unintentionally transported here by boaters.
They were first spotted in U.S. waterways nearly 100 years ago and have been spreading ever since.
Although the clams are undoubtedly an invasive species, they rank below the newly arrived quagga and zebra mussels on the Lake Mead Most Wanted list.
The Asian clam “isn’t as destructive as the quagga and zebra mussels since it doesn’t attach itself to boats and in-water infrastructure,” Lake Mead National Recreation Area spokesman Andrew Munoz said in an e-mail.
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