August 22nd - Mussel Monday - Eastern Elliptio
Freshwater mussels begin life as parasitic larvae known as glochidia. When these larval mussels are expelled by their mother, they must find a suitable host fish to develop. They attach themselves to the fish’s gills. This doesn’t hurt the fish; in fact, it wouldn’t do the parasitic mussel any good if it killed the host. After several weeks, the larvae transform into juvenile mussels. They then fall off the host fish and settle into the sediment, where they begin their journey to adulthood. We'll be comparing our mussel survey results with our electrofishing results to help determine the relationship of abundance and distribution of mussels and their fish hosts!