Friends of Pool 9 Participate in On the Ground
Mussel Recovery Efforts
BY DOUG ALOISI, GENOA NFH
338 hours of volunteer service by the club in FY 2011 and 2012. Credit: USFWS
The mussel propagation cage building party at the Genoa National Fish Hatchery (NFH) happens annually and is looked forward to by the Friends of Pool 9 as a good time of team building and service. The Friends of Pool 9 is a community based conservation organization dedicated to the sustainable use of the Mississippi River in the southwest Wisconsin and northeast Iowa Region. Members come from a wide background of interests and skills and bring with them a love for the River and its resources.
Each year they as a group put in hundreds of hours helping the Genoa NFH assemble mussel propagation cages for deployment in the Upper Mississippi River basin. The cages are designed to hold host fish that have been artificially inoculated with mussel larvae or glochidia. These larvae, roughly the size of the head of a pin, will live on the gills and skin of the fish until they are developed enough to feed on their own. The host fish are released from the cages and the mussels will remain on the plywood bottoms of the cage for one to two years growing until they are large enough to avoid most predators. Then they will be released into suitable habitat in the Upper Mississippi River basin.
In the past three production seasons, the Friends of Pool 9 have dedicated 338 hours to the task of building these cages, and over 2.35 million endangered mussels have been produced. To show our appreciation, John Verdon, vice president of the Friends of Pool 9 accepted a plaque for the group for their dedication and service to mussel conservation. Thanks Friends! We truly could not do it without you.