posted Mar 30, 2012, 5:52 PM by Friends of Hurricane Creek
updated Jul 24, 2012, 7:34 AM
The orange-nacre mucket is one of many species that have disappeared from most major rivers, and only small streams and creeks now afford suitable habitats for the creature (Hartfield and Butler 1996). The host species for many mussels are darters. These fish exhibit a rainbow of iridescent hues in a multitude of patterns. Many of their names are evocative of their color or origin: Amber (Percina antesella), Bayou (Etheostoma rubrum), Goldline (Percina aurolineata), Slackwater (Etheostoma boschungi), Watercress (Etheostoma nuchale) and Okaloosa Darters (Etheostoma okaloosae). All the latter species are listed on the Endangered Species Act.
The orange-nacre mucket mussel (pictured to the right) is one of the mussels unfortunate enough to be a resident of Tuscaloosa County. Sadly, life for our mussels is not ameliorated by national football victories. This year, the federal government added another Alabama freshwater mussel to the endangered species list. Since mussels play such an important role in filtering water and keeping stream systems habitable for other forms of life, Friends of Hurricane Creek who have personal knowledge about local mussels are encouraged to share their knowledge with the community. Please contact us and let us know- we'd love to have some speakers on the topic.
Also, to keep the field for action broad, anyone with a guitar or mouth harp and a penchant for the blues should consider writing blues tune for the poor freshwater mussels of Alabama- the "Mussels Mosey on Out" or "I'm a Mad Ole Mussel" or something that reflects the sad state of affairs for our mussel friends.
Currently, the Alabama Fish and Wildlife Services is actively seeking community partnerships and projects which might lead to increased protection of rare mussels. If you'd like to learn more about freshwater mussels in our state, the following papers, projects, and articles might be of interest:
- List of endangered species in Alabama
- Diversity of freshwater mussels in Alabama, Jeff Garner, Alabama Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources. Jeffrey T. Garner is a malacologist for the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries and coauthor of Alabama Wildlife (Vol 4): Conservation and Management Recommendations for Imperiled Wildlife and Alabama Wildlife (Vol 2): Imperiled Aquatic Mollusks and Fishes.
- Results of a Survey of the Mussel Fauna at Selected Stations in the Black Warrior River System, Alabama, 2009 , OPEN-FILE REPORT OFR 0917 By Stuart W. McGregor, E. Anne Wynn and Jeffrey T. Garner (GSA)
- Alabama mollusks bibliography
- Alabama heelsplitter mussel (US Fish and Wildlife Service)
- Recovery Plan for Inflated Heelsplitter Mussel, 1992 (US Fish and Wildlife Service)
- "Exploring state's mussels" by Dan Lopez, Tuscaloosa News, 2 November 2008
- Protected mussels and county distribution in Alabama, Forestry and Wildlife Services Extension. This chart lists Tuscaloosa county as habitat to the following endangered or threatened mussels: Inflated Heelsplitter Mussel (Potamilus inflatus), Fine-lined Pocketbook Mussel (Lampsilis altilis), Southern Clubshell Mussel* (Pleurobema decisum), Ovate Clubshell Mussel* (Pleurobema perovatum), Orange-nacre Mucket Mussel (Lampsilis perovalis)
- Endangered invertebrates, Document 1092507 (Alabama Forestry Commission)
- Federal Register Entry concerning endangered mollusks in Alabama, 2004
- "Mussels, snails, and other mollusks" by David Rainer, a very compelling article
- Results Of Qualitative Sampling for Protected Mussel Species at Selected Stations in the Cahaba River System, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 2005 By Stuart W. McGregor and Jeffrey T. Garner
- Threatened and Endangered Species Survey for Coskata Project Conducted by TTL in 2010
- Mollusk Bibliography Database: A searchable database of literature on freshwater mussels and, to a lesser extent, other freshwater mollusks. With around 14,000 references, the database covers freshwater mussels worldwide and includes paleontological literature, “gray” literature, theses, and dissertations. Maintained by Kevin Cummings (Illinois Natural History Survey), Dr. Arthur Bogan (North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences), Dr. G. Thomas Watters (Ohio State University, Museum), and C. A. Mayer (Illinois Natural History Survey), the database is a work in progress. Users are encouraged to notify the authors of errors and omissions. Supported by a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
- Biology and Ecology of the Threatened Inflated Heelsplitter Mussel, Potamilus inflatus, in the Black Warrior and Tombigbee Rivers, Alabama, June 1994 by Andrew C. Miller, David Armistead, Barry S. Payne (US Army Corps of Engineers)