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Recent efforts to restore remnant or extirpated populations of freshwater mussels have focused on artificial propagation as an effective and practical conservation strategy. Although artificially cultured juveniles have been produced and released to the wild at various times of the year, no study has investigated the best time of year to release these juveniles. Newly metamorphosed juveniles of the wavyrayed lampmussel (Lampsilis fasciola) were released into a stream-fed fish hatchery raceway during March, June, and September. Growth and survival rates were measured 32, 52, 72, and 92 days post-metamorphosis. Juveniles released in June experienced the greatest growth and survival rates. Juveniles released in September and March experienced high mortality within the first month of release and exhibited poor growth in the cool water conditions typical of those seasons. Overwinter survival exhibited a size-dependent relationship.
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Seasonal growth and mortality of juveniles of Lampsilis fasciola (Bivalvia: Unionidae) released to a fish hatchery raceway