Winged mapleleaf (Quadrula fragosa) mussels have been federally listed as endangered since July 22, 1991. These brown, freshwater mussels, which can grow up to four inches long, were thought to be down to one remaining population when their recovery plan was written in 1997. There have been many reasons for their decline, including zebra mussels, land use changes and habitat fragmentation coupled with a small population size.
Recently, a large number of winged mapleleaf individuals were found on the St. Croix River near Hudson, Wisconsin. To read more about the “happy accident” that led to this large number of mussels, check out this story by Service biologist Tamara Smith: https://www.fws.gov/FieldNotes/regmap.cfm?arskey=37132. After careful deliberation, it was decided these mussels would be captured, tagged and released into three areas to establish new or augment existing populations.
Read More »
Winged Mapleleaf Mussel Information