Return to Conservation Biology Research on Mussels

Davis, M. 1987. Freshwater mussels (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Unionidae) of the Cannon River drainage in southeastern Minnesota. Final report submitted to the Nongame Wildlife Program, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. 22+ pp.


Sampling techniques suitable for documenting the current and historical distribution of Minnesota's freshwater mussels were developed and field tested during the summer and fall of 1987 in the Cannon River drainage of southeastern Minnesota. Quantitative sampling was conducted by walking the length of each sampling station and searching aquatic microhabitats, shorelines, muskrat middens and sand/gravel accretions for live and dead shells.

A total of 1344 live mussels, representing 15 species, were taken from 61 sampling stations.

Evidence of massive distributional disruption and mussel species extirpations were found in several areas of the drainage.

Live records of a new Minnesota mussel species, Actinonaias ellipsiformis - Ellipse, were found and a very large, densely populated mussel bed was discovered within the tailwaters of an old mill dam.

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