Author: Myron Hess

Fatmucket, heelsplitter and pimpleback are three types of Texas freshwater mussels

Fewer heelsplitters, fatmuckets and pimplebacks signals trouble for Texas rivers

Wildlife populations around the world are declining rapidly, but as our streams and rivers face an onslaught of challenges, the outlook is especially poor for freshwater species. And, near the top of the list of species in trouble are 15 species of colorfully-named Texas mussels. Texas is home to a sizeable portion of the about 300 mussel species native to the U.S., with 53 species of native mussels claiming Texas roots. Unfortunately, we haven’t treated these Texas natives very well, with 15 of those species currently listed as threatened by the State of Texas. Although being listed by the state wins mussels a little extra attention, it actually provides very little legal protection. In...

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