Asian clams survey Monday, Tuesday for Lake Tahoe water board |

Asian clams survey Monday, Tuesday for Lake Tahoe water board

LAKE TAHOE “The Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board will discuss funding a survey of the Asian clam population of Lake Tahoe and the possibility of allowing aquatic pesticides into the waters at its meeting Monday and Tuesday.

The board meets at 4 p.m. at the Lake Tahoe Community College Board and Aspen Rooms at One College Drive in South Lake Tahoe.

A resolution requesting the State Water Resources Control Board approve $100,000 from the Cleanup and Abatement fund for a study to examine Lake Tahoe’s Asian Clam population is on the agenda.

The $100,000 would cover an autonomous underwater vehicle taking pictures of the bottom of the lake. It would also cover the staff costs of analyzing the data and images. The survey would cover down to 20 meters, said.

“What we need to do is a lake-wide survey because we’ve only surveyed the southeast area of the lake,” said Marion Wittmann, a researcher with Tahoe Environmental Research Center.

The autonomous underwater vehicle would come from the University of British Columbia and could survey the bottom of the Lake in about two weeks, Wittmann said.

The AUV takes clear picture of the lake’s bottom, allowing researchers to study more areas of the lake. After investigating the photos, Wittmann and her team will go out and take samples of specific areas to further study the clam population.

Because the AUV can take samples of chlorophyll, TERC researchers will also be able to monitor and sense any algal blooms.

Aquatic Pesticides

The board will also hear a staff report about the possibility of amending it’s policy that limits the amount of pesticides allowed in waters controlled by the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board.

This is not an action item, but staff will present options to the board of how the policy could be amended.

“We’re proposing an amendment that would change it and would still be very restrictive,” said Dan Sussman, an environmental scientist with Lahontan.

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