Macalester College

Mussels of the Minnesota River

There are currently 23 species of mussels inhabiting the Minnesota River Watershed.  Historically there were 40 or 41 species in the watershed, so there has been a significant decline in mussel species richness.  List of species and their conservation status.

The maps below show the density and richness of mussels collected in the past few years by the MN DNR.

In 2015 we began assessing changes in the mussel community and abundance that have occurred since the DNR conducted their studies.  We examined changes in three subwatersheds of the Minnesota River basin (Chippewa, Cottonwood and Le Sueur) and a "reference" site in the St. Croix Watershed (Snake River).

 

Mussel Density and Richness
Click on image for a larger PDF version.

 

Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund