Genoa National Fish Hatchery and Native Mussel Restoration by orv89881


									                                                   U.S. Fish Rivers Fisheries Program
                                            Great Lakes/Big& Wildlife Service

                                                     Genoa National Fish Hatchery
                                                     and Native Mussel Restoration

 · In North America, it is estimated that 43%
 of the 300 species of freshwater mussels          N     early 300 species of mussels
                                                         inhabit freshwater rivers,
                                                   streams, and lakes in North
 are in danger of extinction.
 · Since 2000, the Genoa National Fish             America. This is the richest diver-
 Hatchery has raised over 10 million juvenile      sity of mussels found in the world.
 freshwater mussels.                               Native mussels are the most
                                                   endangered freshwater fauna in
                                                   the United States. Further, the
                                                   current extinction rate (percent
                                                   loss per decade) for freshwater          -USFWS
                                                   mussels is 1.2% and is estimated to      This is a two year old Higgins’ eye pearlymussel
                                                                                            showing an identification tag and marker.
                                                   be 6.4% in the future. These rates
                                                   fall within the range of estimates
                                                   for tropical rainforest communities      species and other variables. Genoa
                                                   (1-8% loss per decade). Histori-         NFH, with its varied fish produc-
Above is an example of the multiple                cally, the Midwest boasted the           tion capabilities, has efficiently
freshwater mussel species produced at              most diverse collection of mussels       incorporated the production of a
Genoa NFH for recovery and restoration             in the world; but today, the States      wide range of mussel species into
work throughout the Upper Midwest.                 of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa,           existing restoration programs. The
                                                   Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio    advantages of large scale fish
                                                   list more than half of their 78          production and the ability to inocu-
                                                   known species as endangered,             late thousands of fish annually with
                                                   threatened, or requiring special         multiple species of mussels makes
                                                   concern.                                 Genoa NFH a valuable tool in
                                                                                            mussel restoration and recovery in

                                                   T    he Genoa National Fish
                                                       Hatchery (NFH) has been
                                                                                            the Midwest.

These juvenile winged mapleleaf
                                                   raising fish for fisheries manage-
                                                   ment programs since its founding
                                                   in 1932, and currently produces up
                                                                                            S    ince the inception of mussel
                                                                                                 propagation at the Genoa NFH
                                                                                            in 2000, the hatchery has released
mussels were recovered from cul-
ture cages on the St. Croix River                  to 14 species of warm, cool, and         over 10 million juvenile mussels of
near Minnesota’s Twin Cities.                      coldwater fish annually. The life        9 species, including 8.1 million of
                                                   cycle of most freshwater mussels         the federally endangered Higgins’
                                                   require a host animal, usually in        eye and Winged Mapleleaf mussels.
                                                   the form of a fish, to complete          The initial success of these stock-
                                                   their larval development.                ings has been evident through the
                                                                                            recovery of tens of thousands of

                                                   T   his process involves the
                                                       physical attachment of the
                                                   mussel larvae or “glochidia” to a
                                                                                            sub-adult and adult Higgins’ eye
                                                                                            mussels of multiple year classes
                                                                                            from cage culture production sites
This Federally endangered female Higgins’          host fishes gills, skin, or fins for a   in the Mississippi River. Addition-
eye pearlymussel is being held at Genoa NFH
                                                   period of time ranging from days to      ally, hatchery divers and state and
in support of freshwater mussel recovery
efforts on the Mississippi River. This female is   months depending on the mussel           federal agency cooperators have
displaying its lure to attract a host fish. When                                            begun detecting free-living indi-
a fish investigates the lure, larvae are                                                    viduals at host fish release sites in
released which attach to the gills of the fish.                                             Wisconsin and Iowa.
-USFWS photos
                                              Great Lakes/Big Rivers Fisheries Program

I  n addition to the millions of
   Federally endangered mussels
produced at Genoa NFH, the
                                                     G    enoa NFH continues to work
                                                          closely with the states of Iowa
                                                     and Minnesota on species restora-
                                                                                                                G    enoa NFH supports a wide
                                                                                                                     range of science and techno-
                                                                                                                logical initiatives concerning
project is involved in the restora-                  tion plans to bolster native mussel                        freshwater mussels by supplying
tion efforts of seven other species                  populations that have been im-                             early life stage and older mussels
of freshwater mussels, many of                       pacted by environmental degrada-                           on an ongoing basis to research
which are listed as threatened on                    tion and habitat losses.                                   facilities across the nation. The
several state status lists. Since                                                                               hatchery works closely with other
2000, Genoa NFH has released                                                                                    Federal agencies, universities, and
over 2.3 million juvenile and sub-                                                                              research centers on projects such
adult mussels of these seven                                                                                    as host fish research, environmen-
species into four watersheds in the                                                                             tal contaminant issues, and genetic
Upper Midwest.                                                                                                  sampling. The hatchery is also a
                                                                                                                leader in adapting basic research
                                                                                                                techniques and technologies into a
                                                                                                                production scale model for restora-
                                                                                                                tion and recovery of these unique
                                                                                                                and interesting species.

These two species of native mussels (black
sandshell on the left and plain pocketbook on the
right) are destined for restoration efforts in the   Thousands of yearling freshwater mussels of three
Upper Midwest. Notice the numbered tags on some      species are being prepared for a restoration
of the individuals.                                  project in Iowa.

                                                                                                                Biologist Roger Gordon carefully checks the health
                                                                                                                of mussel larvae (glochidia).

                            Species of Native Mussels Produced by Genoa NFH including Methods Used and # Juveniles Stocked
                                                           FR = Release of Free Ranging Host.
                              Species          Methods           Juveniles        Species             Methods          Juveniles
                                                                 Stocked                                               Stocked
                            Black sandshell    Cage/FR           535,596          Plain pocketbook    Cage/FR            882,963
                            Fatmucket          Cage/FR           671,036          Washboards               FR             14,473
                            Hickorynut         Cage/FR            28,719          Wiinged mapleleaf   Cage/FR            242,026
                            Higgins’ eye       Cage/FR        7,904,217           Yellow sandshell    Cage/FR             73,503
                            Mucket             Cage/FR           139,847
                                   Species and Numbers of Mussels Produced by the Genoa National Fish Hatchery since 2000

                                                         For information on mussel culture operations at the Genoa NFH contact: Doug Aloisi at 608/689-2605 or
                                                         visit the website at:
                                                         For general information on freshwater mussels, visit the Fish and Wildlife Service native mussel
                                                         website at:                                     March 2009

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