The Transylvania Times -

Endangered Mussel Making Comeback In French Broad

 

April 2, 2018

Courtesy photo

Biologists search for the elktoe mussel in Mills River in Henderson County.

In 1834, a freshwater mussel collected near the convergence of the Swannanoa and French Broad Rivers was recognized as a new species– the Appalachian elktoe. Eighty years later, Carnegie Museum curator and University of Pittsburg professor Arnold Ortman couldn't find any elktoes in the French Broad River, attributing his failure to polluted water.

On a cold January afternoon in early 2017, Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) biologists Jason Mays and Byron Hamstead were wading the French Broad River near Rosman, speaking with a landowner who wanted to stop the soil erosion on his property....



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