• Canoeists paddle by tree lined shores

    Saint Croix

    National Scenic Riverway WI,MN


A yellowish-brown mussel, buried part way in the river bottom, has a white fleshy part sticking out from the shell

A mussel extrudes a lure for fish to attract them them to her.

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?

An aerial photo of the river splitting and a tributaru joining from the north

In the Dakota language The St. Croix River is O-Ki-Zu-Wa-Kpa: To meet or to unite, as the waters of a river gather into a lake or two rivers meet or an area where we planted. Dakota and Ojibwe Indians still live near St. Croix NSR.