** Archived Article - please check for current information. **
November 3, 2015DNR assists in stocking endangered freshwater mussel
On Oct. 19, 2015 Tim Carroll, President of the Landsford Sportsmen's Club assisted Jason Mays and Morgan Wolf of the US Fish and
Wildlife Service (USFWS) along with S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Hatchery Coordinator Leo Rose in the first ever stocking
of a Carolina Heelsplitter in South Carolina waters.
The Carolina Heelsplitter (lasmigona decorate) are an endangered freshwater mussel on the brink of extinction. According to the latest comprehensive survey ending in 2011, only 154 wild individuals remain spread across 11 distinct populations, all in the Carolinas. DNR has been working with the USFWS and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission on mussel propagation and recovery programs. The 131 adult Carolina Heelsplitters were stocked to augment a known heelsplitter population in Lancaster County. Each of the stocked individuals contained an individual tag that allows researchers to return to the site to evaluate success.
This species was rediscovered in 1987. It had not been found in its historic range since the mid 1800's. The Carolina heelsplitter's life span, their specific fish host species, and many other specific aspects of its life history are largely unknown and currently under investigation, but likely are similar to that of other native freshwater mussels. The stability of the stream banks and stream bottom appears to be a habitat feature essential to the species.
Find out more about Endangered Mussel Restoration.
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