Driftless area stream stocked mussels appear to be doing well

Farmers Creek is a small stream in eastern Iowa. It flows into the Makoqueta system that ultimately reaches the Mississippi River. Years ago the mussel population there was decimated by the breech of a manure holding pond during a rain event. Since 2007 Genoa NFH has been routinely stocking fatmucket and a few other assorted species in Farmers Creek. So far we have releasedover 5,000 sub adult fatmucket in Farmers Creek with either a glue dot or hall print shellfish tags. Iowa DNR fisheries biologists have been watching theseanimals whenever possible to monitor survival and look for signs of recruitment.  Recently a trip to the stream recovered three fatmucket shells that had likely been found first by raccoons. Other visits have shown that the older animals have reached maturity and are brooding larvae during the spawning season. The final step in this process is to document that the established population has begun to reproduce on their own. It will take lots of searching, but the ultimate goal of any restoration program is to show that the stocked mussels have survived and carried on the life cycle to the next generation.

ByNathan Eckert

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