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Category Archives: Mussels



Unionid mussels – our subtly beautiful largest invertebrate animals!

Become a Local Expert

Because of their constant filtering, Unionids are the heavy-duty in-stream providers of “water quality,” and unlike fish, they can’t get out of the way and then quickly swim back to recolonize a site. Stream projects should avoid disturbing the streambed where they’re abundant, since the mussels mature slowly, and mature individuals can keep providing improved water quality for several decades. Water level fluctuations in impoundments can make
vast areas of the bottom behind dams uninhabitable.

To become the local unionid expert, search shores & bottoms of streams, and shores & shallows of lakes, concentrating on clear-water habitats and on riffles, and especially on streams right below lake outlets, where phytoplanktonic food from the still water flows like a perpetual buffet. Some species are wedged into the mucky banks of streams. Muskrats accumulate shell piles beside stumps and rocks on the bank, which you’ll find easily once you begin to think like a Muskrat. Flood waters concentrate shells at the foot of bars, or in eddies. It’s important to examine lots of animals and collect lots of shells, because many species are superficially hard to tell apart and many are rare. Since you can collect dead shells without harming the populations, it’s possible to gather material documentation of the occurrence of species, and their variation. Continue reading


What is River Management – by Frederick W. Schueler

by Frederick W. Schueler

Bishops Mills Natural History Centre

RR#2 Bishops Mills, Ontario, Canada K0G 1T0

This citation was “originally published in River Management Society Journal 24(2):1,14-15.”

My wife Aleta and I constitute the BMNHC as a “mom & pop” research institute, with the goal of studying conspicuous but neglected aspects of ecological change. We find many aspects of rivers to be conspicuous but neglected, and we’ve developed low cost protocols for remedying aspects of this neglect. We work with some agencies of the conservation bureaucracy including the Canadian Museum of Nature, Ontario Freshwater Mussel Recovery Team, and South Nation Conservation Authority, and have assisted a number of NIMBY’s who were unsettled by plans to change rivers near their homes, but mostly we study and publicize those groups of organisms that are widely noticed but not recognized to species, and ecosystems and communities that are rapidly changing for whatever reasons. Continue reading


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