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West Virginia Wildlife
Mussel Restoration
Patrick McMurtry Healthy Mussels Means Healthy Rivers

October 10, 2012
Reporter: Patrick McMurtry
Videographer: Brad Rice

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West Virginia has countless rivers, creeks and streams, and in most of them, you'll find these....mussels. These little guys are everywhere, and thanks to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources mussel restoration project, areas where they were either wiped our or were in jeopardy are getting a healthy population of mussels.

Janet Clayton, a biologist with the division, explains how our neighboring state assisted. "In recent years, we've worked with Pennsylvania in the Allegheny River, they have to relocate mussels before bridge projects, like we do here in West Virginia, but the diversity is so high that some of there species are fairly common and they don't have a place to put them."

Janet and her crew are more than happy to take those mussels and literally introduce them to West Virginia waters. This helps out the mussels, and you can bet it helps keep our rivers and streams more healthy.

This restoration project is important, and it's important these animals are placed in the river at just the right location.
"We have a five meter line set that's marked at every meter. There are five of us that are going to go plant the mussels, each of us will take a meter wide section." says Clayton.
They will strategically place a mix of males and females in the river, ensuring the best conditions for the mussels to reproduce, creating not only a thriving community of mussels, but also an improving environment for everything else calling this part of the Elk River home.



LEARN MORE at the W. Va. DNR


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