Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Genoa National Fish Hatchery Talks Mussel Conservation with Neosho National Fish Hatchery
Midwest Region, November 13, 2008
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Melissa Cheung poses by the Genoa NFH sign.
Melissa Cheung poses by the Genoa NFH sign. - Photo Credit: n/a
Melissa learns how to identify microscopic mussels at the Clam Palace
Melissa learns how to identify microscopic mussels at the Clam Palace - Photo Credit: n/a

Over the past seven years, the Genoa National Fish Hatchery has built a the infrastructure and support programs to become the nations largest freshwater mussel culture facilities.  Due to the recent advances in mussel propagation at the station, State agencies and Fish and Wildlife Service Offices have contacted Genoa for consultation and demonstrations of mussel culture techniques.  Due to this information exchange, mussel cage culture techniques are now being used as far east as West Virginia for mussel restoration on the Ohio River.  Recently, Genoa also hosted fishery biologist Melissa Cheung from Neosho National Fish Hatchery for a short detail so that she could learn more about propagating and culturing freshwater mussels.  As Neosho prepares to begin a mussel culture program of its own, Manager Dave Hendrix stated that “There no need to reinvent the wheel” meaning his staff could learn from the trials and errors Genoa has already experienced.  During this detail, Melissa got to see what a gravid mussel looks like, harvest larval mussels called glochidia, introduce the parasitic glochidia to its required host fish, and looked at newly transformed mussels recently excysting off their fish host.  Melissa also gathered information about where to look for additional information about mussel culture, the locations for purchasing some of the specialized equipment that Genoa has adapted into their mussel program.  This information exchange between hatcheries is the most recent of many that have taken place over the years.  Genoa and Neosho have long histories of working together as managers and biologist seem to pass through one facility before transferring to the other.  It is hoped that through this transfer of knowledge that Neosho NFH will quickly establish a successful mussel program giving Region 3 two mussel conservation hatcheries in which to meet the Services’ mission.      

Contact Info: Larry Dean, 612-713-5312, Larry_Dean@fws.gov
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