Mortality, Movement, and Behaviour of Native Mussels During a Planned Water-Level Drawdown in the Upper Mississippi River

January 1, 2015

Managers in the Upper Mississippi River (UMR) are using reductions in the River’s water levels during summer to mimic historical water regimes and rehabilitate habitats for vegetation and other species. Concerns for the unintended effects of these actions on mussel populations threatened to halt these projects.

Collectively, these data suggest that drawdowns can influence the mortality, movement and behaviour of mussels in the UMR. However, more information on spatial and temporal distributions of mussels is needed to better understand the magnitude of these effects. Results from this study are being used by resource managers to better evaluate the effects of this management tool on native
mussel assemblages.