A Refuge for Mussels

© Photographed September 10, 2016
Erected by St. Croix Scenic Riverway,
National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior
Shafer, Chisago County, Minnesota
45.321521, -92.711476
45°19'17.5"N 92°42'41.3"W
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A Refuge for Mussels
The St. Croix River hides some of its most amazing features beneath its waters. This includes North America's most threatened animal -- the mussel.

Why get excited about creatures that basically resemble rocks? Mussels are very long-lived animals sensitive to change in habitat and water quality, warning if the health of a river system begins to deteriorate. They also help keep rivers clean by filtering the water. Shells provide spawning and hiding habitat for fish and insects.

The St. Croix boasts 40 species of native freshwater mussels -- more than any other river outside the southeastern United States. The river's clean water, forested land, and diverse environments help all mussels thrive.
Mussels Need Fish
Adult mussels use lure-like apendages to release glochidia (juvenile mussels) onto host fish. Glochidia spend their first few months attached to the fish's gills or fins, using nutrients from the fish in order to develop internal organs.

Please protect mussels by leaving them and their shells in place.
The marker is located adjacent to a parking lot adjacent to the Minnesota-side of the St. Croix River, and is accessible from westbound Osceola Road / Wisconsin Highway 243, west of the bridge that crosses the St. Croix River, at or near 19317 Osceola Road, Shafer, Minnesota 55074.

A mussel filters food by pushing water through its siphons.

The marker (visible on the right) is next to the St. Croix River.

The marker is located in Osceola, Wisconsin.

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