Snuffbox Or we all enjoy catching a fish; even freshwater mussels

In collaboration with the WI DNR, GNFH is planning to restore Snuffbox populations in the Wolf River basin. Last fall, WI DNR biologists spent some chilly dive days aggregating males and females to ensure that brooding females could be found this spring. The first tiny babies (~150 ?m long) are expected soon. Soon these will go out into the Mobile Aquatic Rearing System at Blackhawk, the U.S. Army Corps Park, to eat the natural food in Mississippi river water (bacteria and algae) and grow large enough to overwinter well at the hatchery for release in 2023.
Snuffbox is a particularly favorite species as it’s the only widespread member of their genus, all of whom catch their host fish. This unexpected behavior begets novel characteristics (‘toothed’ shell edges, the capacity to sit open, exposing their body cavity to the environment) making these species fascinating to observe. How these behaviors and morphologies, or physical characteristics in biology jargon, have developed and been maintained is fascinating to consider. We look forward to sharing more information about this species and others reared at the hatchery as our buildings open to the public and events develop in the coming years.

The group of broodstock Snuffbox, freshly tagged and ready to be returned to the river.

Snuffbox use log perch as hosts.