Endangered Species
Midwest Region



Map of Region 3 Minnesota Wisconsin Michigan

Connect With Us

Facebook icon


Flickr icon




Twitter icon


YouTube icon



Buy Duck Stamps icon Endangered Species Day icon

Great Lake Restoration Initiative logo

Northern riffleshell (Epioblasma torulosa rangiana)

The northern riffleshell is an endangered freshwater mussel that was historically found in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and western Ontario. It was widespread in the Ohio and Maumee River basins, and in tributaries of western Lake Erie. Today, the northern riffleshell occurs in short reaches of the Green River in Kentucky; the Detroit and Black Rivers in Michigan; Big Darby Creek in Ohio; and French Creek, LeBoeuf Creek and the Allegheny River in Pennsylvania. Restoration is ongoing in Illinois, Ohio, and West Viriginia.


Natural History, Ecology, and Regulatory Information

Northern riffleshell

Northern riffleshell on a river bottom.

Photo by Tom Watters


Status: Endangered, listed June 22, 1993


Habitat: Large streams and small rivers in firm sand of riffle areas; also occurs in Lake Erie


Lead Region: 5


Region 3 Lead Office: Ohio Field Office


Range: Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia


Listen to a podcast!

Find out about the northern riffleshell mussel from field biologist Bob Anderson.


Audio Clip



Watch a Slideshow!

Images from collections trips



Fact sheet


Northern Riffleshell


Final Rule: Determination of Endangered Status for the Northern Riffleshell Mussel (Epioblasma torulosa rangiana) and the Clubshell Mussel (Pleurobema clava) - January 22, 1993


Species Profile (link goes to the USFWS national website)


Northern Riffleshell Recovery

Mussels Relocated from the Allegheny River to Illinois and Ohio


Mussels on the Move (2010)


Northern Riffleshell: Translocation to the Big Darby Creek in Franklin County, Ohio (2009)


Environmental Assessment for Clubshell and Northern Riffleshell Augmentation in Illinois - Public Comment Period July 8, 2008 through August 8, 2008


Private Stewardship Grant (May 2007): Reforestation and Wetland Restoration for Permanent Native Habitat in the St. Joseph River Watershed – Hillsdale County, Michigan; Defiance and Williams Counties, Ohio; Allen, Dekalb, and Noble Counties, Indiana – ($45,000*)


Non-traditional S6 Grant (May 2007): Land Acquisition Initiative Along the Little Darby Creek State and National Scenic River to Aid in the Recovery of Clubshell and Northern Riffleshell (Madison County, OH): $247,395


Section 6 funded project (2006): Biology, Propagation, and Reintroduction of Northern Riffleshell (Epioblasma torulosa rangiana) and Clubshell (Pleurobema clava)


Mussels Home

Midwest Endangered Species Home



Last updated: April 14, 2015