NPS, Multi-agency zebra mussel dive team
Native Freshwater Mussels
The St. Croix has is known for having a mostly intact mussel population. Meaning, the species that lived here 100 years ago are still the species living here today. This includes 40 species of mussels, five of which are on the endangered species list. To see a list of the mussel species in the St. Croix, print a mussel fact sheet, or to learn more... about mussels
Female mussels need to find a fish to carry their glochidia, (baby mussels) for a few weeks. Then the young can survive on their own and will drop to the river bottom. Different mussel species use different methods to attract the fish and some are very picky as to what kind of fish they want to attract. Watch some videos of different mussels trying to attract a fish.
Did You Know?
Winged maple leaf mussels were thought to be extinct until some were rediscovered in the St. Croix River in 1987. Today scientists are helping to raise young mussels and re-introducing them into their former range including St. Croix National Scenic Riverway to help prevent future extinction.