Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Massachusetts
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Massachusetts Project

Feasibility and uses for freshwater mussel culture in Massachusetts

May 2015 - December 2017


Participating Agencies

  • University of Massachusetts Department of Environmental Conservation
  • University of Massachusetts College of Natural Science

Half of Massachusetts native freshwater mussel fauna are listed as Endangered or Special Concern under MESA. Population augmentation and re-introduction programs have been used to restore freshwater mussel populations in other states for more than 20 years, and have reported significant success with some species. We propose to test the feasibility of mussel propagation at the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Cronin Aquatic Resource Center in Sunderland, MA. Siting of a propagation facility in Massachusetts will increase collaboration with other New England states for the management of regional populations, increase collaboration with academic and Federal partners, and increase competitiveness for funding sources. Ultimately, we hope to develop a successful restoration program in Massachusetts.