The Genoa mussel program is warming up for spring

If you’ve been reading the newsletter for a while, you’re aware of the cycle of the mussel propagation year. Winter is for managing data and making plans, while spring is for preparation, summer is busy with hands on work with the mussels on station or in the river, then fall is bringing in the animals we’ve raised and settling them in for the winter. We start by discussing plans and needs for the season with our various State and Federal partners, as well as the staff at the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium in Dubuque. Since we’ve already reviewed what was successful, or less so, last year we apply this information and begin to choose which systems we’ll use for which species and in what order we’ll do them. Some of our work includes digging through cages, preparing dive gear for another season and making sure the MARS trailer is ready. We’re still providing extensive care for several species of host fish and the many sub-adult mussels that are overwintering in the mussel building even as we finish construction on some new systems in the mussel building. By: Megan Bradley