Close-up of multiple freshwater gold clams showing colour, shape and size.

Freshwater gold clam found in Brisbane River

A highly invasive species of clam, freshwater gold clam (Corbicula fluminea), has been detected for the first time in Australia at several places along the Brisbane River at Savages Crossing, Colleges Crossing and Riverside Park.

Freshwater gold clam is highly invasive because of its rapid growth rate, high reproductive rate, and ability to broadcast its larvae over a broad area using water flows in rivers. It can also potentially clump and block waterways, pipes and other water infrastructure.

What to look for?

The inflated, round to triangular clam shell is yellowish brown to black with evenly spaced ridges. The shell length is usually less than 25 mm although it can grow to a length of 50–65 mm.

What is the biosecurity risk?

Freshwater gold clam breeds quickly and spreads easily. It can cause significant damage to our rivers and waterways by clogging water infrastructure including hydroelectric dams and water treatment plants. The clam can also displace native clams and diminish water quality.

Multiple freshwater gold calms amongst rocks on river bank.

Assistance from fishing, boating and recreational water-goers

Queensland fishing, boating and recreational water-goers should be on alert and report anything unusual to Biosecurity Queensland. Early detection is key to containment and tracking of this pest.

Any person who owns a boat or recreational watercraft should check, clean and dry equipment to minimise the biosecurity risk of transferring this invasive species to new areas:

  • check wheel arches on trailers, boat propellers, fishing tackle and footwear for river mud and debris
  • keep your boats, trailers, wetsuits, fishing rods and equipment clean
  • allow your boat, trailer, fishing rods and other equipment to dry completely before using at another location.

What to do if you see freshwater gold clam

If you think you have seen a freshwater gold clam, report it immediately to Biosecurity Queensland. If possible, take a photo to assist with identification.

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