U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
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Freshwater Mussels of the Upper Mississippi River System

Species Identification and Location
Threatened and Endangered Mussels
Life History Ecology
Mussel Harvest on the River
Current Threats
Mussel Conservation Activities
Ongoing Studies and Projects
Multimedia Teacher Resources
Frequently Asked Questions
Glossary References
Links to Other Mussel Sites
Click on the mussel above to go to the Field Guide to Freshwater Mussels and find out more information about this species. A different species will appear everytime this page is loaded.

Nearly 300 species of mussels inhabit freshwater rivers and lakes in North America. This is the richest diversity of mussels found in the world. Freshwater mussels are sedentary, long-lived (some live over 100 years) mollusks that live in sediments and filter water to feed. Because they are filter-feeders, mussels are excellent indicators of the health of aquatic ecosystems. In addition, mussels are a vital link in the food chain because they are a major food item for wildlife such as raccoon, muskrat, and otter. Their lustrous pearl-like interiors have made them valuable in the cultured pearl and jewelry industry.

Species Identification and LocationThreatened and Endangered MusselsLife HistoryEcologyMussel Harvest on the RiverCurrent ThreatsMussel Conservation ActivitiesOngoing Studies and ProjectsMultimediaTeacher ResourcesFrequently Asked QuestionsGlossaryReferencesLinks to Other Mussel SitesAbout this site

Department of the InteriorU.S. Fish & Wildlife ServiceU.S. Geological Survey

Last updated on December 28, 2006
Managed by: gary_wege@fws.gov