The Scioto River, Paint Creek, and North Fork Paint Creek border park units and support an abundance of aquatic life. Freshwater mussel shells were utilized by the Hopewell as tools, likely favoring the bigger species such as white and pink heelsplitter, pistolgrip, and giant floater. A species of state concern, deertoe can be found in the Paint Creek watershed. Other mollusks such as snails and limpets may also be present within the watersheds.
Freshwater mussels are sensitive to changes in water quality, especially negative impacts such as increased silt deposition, pesticides, sewage, and run-off from streets. Through partnerships with federal and state agencies, concerned citizens, businesses, and non-profit organizations, much has been done to alleviate these problems; however, more can always be done. As improvements to water quality continue, the return of Federally and state listed threatened and endangered species may occur, thereby increasing the species diversity of our native mussels and improving water quality.
Did You Know?
The first publication of the Smithsonian Institution in 1848 was an extensive survey of archeology sites that included all of the sites at Hopewell Culture NHP. The book was authored by Ephraim Squier (left) and Edwin Davis (right), residents of the town of Chillicothe where Hopewell Culture NHP is located.