Cages Deployed

Over the years at the hatchery we’ve been working to improve how we manage ponds for mussel culture. Often the best conditions for growing fish don’t result in great algae and bacteria for growing juvenile mussels, so it takes lots of data collection and experimentation to find a balance between the two needs. This year we’re trying to culture our freshwater mussels in pond 10 right next to the mussel building. We placed our cages before the pond was filled. Our Youth Conservation Corps workers stocked the Largemouth Bass infested with Plain Pocketbook into the cages this week. The juvenile mussels will drop off into the sand in the bottom of the cages and hopefully grow and thrive. We added a tarp below this year’s cages to see if many of our juveniles are washing out of the cages due to fish movement or waves from storms. Any juveniles will be cultured to a large enough size to stock into Iowa to replace Plain Pocketbook killed in a spill. By: Megan Bradley

YCC workers place freshwater mussel infested Largemouth Bass into mussel culture cages at GNFH. Photo credit: Megan Bradley/USFWS.