The winged mapleleaf mussel (Quadrula fragosa, WML) is a Federal endangered species historically inhabiting at least 34 river systems in 12 Midwestern states. Only four populations are currently known to exist, including one confirmed reproducing population in the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway (NSR) bordering Minnesota and Wisconsin. Recovery efforts are limited by a lack of life history information, particularly which species of fish serve as host to the mussel's parasitic larvae (glochidia).
Since 1997, biologists at the University of Minnesota have tried to identify host fish for the WML. Department of the Interior colleagues working in western Wisconsin at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's La Crosse Fishery Resources Office and Genoa National Fish Hatchery, the National Park Service's St. Croix NSR, and the U.S. Geological Survey's Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center (UMESC) in La Crosse joined the team in 2001 to expand and accelerate the laboratory host fish identification program by making use of the well-equipped aquatic research facilities at UMESC. We report on several WML early life history investigations conducted at UMESC since autumn 2003 to identify suitable host fish species and evaluate thermal requisites for the development of glochidia into free-living juvenile mussels.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Host Fish Identification and Early Life Thermal Requirements for the Federal Endangered Winged Mapleleaf Mussel