Northeast Region Features
Conserving the Nature of America

Golden riffleshell mussel gets placed in Indian Creek
In September 2017, a total of 700 golden riffleshell mussels, a federally-endangered species, were released into the Clinch River and Indian Creek.
Gary Peeples/FWS

Clinch River mussel pulled back from the brink of extinction

October 16, 2017 - In late August 1999, a tanker truck carrying a chemical used to make foam rubber overturned on U.S. route 460 spilling its contents into Virginia’s Clinch River. Before the spill, the only place in the world where the golden riffleshell mussel could be found was the Clinch River and one of its tributaries, Indian Creek. The spill eliminated the endangered mussel from the Clinch, meaning the estimated 400 individuals holding on in about a mile of Indian Creek were all that remained in the world.

The plight of species took a leap forward this fall, as 700 captively-reared individuals were released into three sites – on Indian Creek, and on the Clinch River on the edge of Richlands, Virginia, and further upstream at a site owned by The Nature Conservancy.

Read the story

Published on: Monday, October 16,2017

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