“Game and Parks put PIT (passive integrated transponder) tags on 100 of each species,” Bolli said. “This year we redid the census and were able to search for those mussels we stocked. With the PIT tag reader we were able to find 29 mussels of the 200 we stocked with tags. We were pretty happy with that. Mussels are kind of at the bottom of the food chain. A lot of things like to eat them. We felt like even though that seems like a low number, the creek is healthy enough to support them.”
In addition to tracking the mussels with a PIT tag, a complete survey was done on a one-mile stretch of the creek. The survey required workers on their hands and knees to search for mussels and took eight days to complete. The results were 508 live mussels found. That figure is higher than the 311 found last year, which Bolli suspects was in part due to lower water levels in 2021.
“Last year we had a lot of high water, but this year the stream is at a nice steady flow,” he said. “It was really good for the survey. I think that’s the reason we found more mussels this year.”
The survey was conducted by members of the Youth Conservation Corps., a group of high school workers, as well as two interns at Homestead.
Bolli added it’s important to maintain the mussel population, as they provide many benefits for the ecosystem.
Originally Appeared Here