The AABCs of Saving Aquatic Wildlife: Summer 2021 Preview

I thought this was a great article. I have only read one book on clams and snails my whole life and so I have very limited knowledge on it. Freshwater aquatic life is something in general I know very little about and most of what I do know is centered around plants like the aquatic ferns.

This article though briefly talks about breeding clams, how they use fish during a parasitic stage as larva, and how mud pollution and dams can damage streams and really help reduce wildlife. I remember reading while in Washington state over ten years ago how after they begin blowing up dams, and removing old forgotten dams it increased the number of fish species, especially helping salmon and other migrating steam fishes. It also shares some ideas on how to help your local river conservationists by purchasing fishing licenses even if you don’t ever fish because part of that finding goes towards them. Though I imagine people can just donate as well.

It does seem that the better protected the rivers, ponds and watersheds are a byproduct is the better the ecosystems leading up to them are protected. It’s a pretty cool article.

Does anyone in here spend a lot of time dealing with freshwater ecosystems? I’m thinking that since I often like to hike and camp occasionally I’ll start visiting sites on rivers to study it, enjoy it and hopefully help fund it.


Our old state advertising motto used to be “Come to Michigan.” You won’t have more opportunities for fresh water studies of all kinds in one region. The Michigan DNR’s website can help you find camping and hiking places all over the state as well as information about resources (,4570,7-350-79119_79145---,00.html). You might also want to check the EGLE ( website for more information on the Great Lakes and water resources.


I definitely want to visit there one day. I think it would be really cool to see the Great Lakes and trace out a handful of the rivers and branches. Eventually I’ll definitely fly out or make a long road trip out there.

I am really curious about the successional sand dunes that arose there off the Great Lakes.

Where I live water is a big part too. I live in a city that gets the most rainfall a year in continental USA. We have the Gulf of Mexico that bleeds into lagoons and have rivers pouring into them where the gradient of turbulence and salt changes dramatically every few meters. There is a underground forest found by Ben Raines about 60 miles out I think in the Gulf of Mexico too that brings in a lot of tourism. Only creepy part really in our freshwater is the alligators. Though they mostly leave you alone they also are a threat along with bull sharks. I always remember years ago being about 20 miles north of the ocean in a river about 8 feet deep and see a bull shark swim by. I once saw a American eel chasing a fish but at that time I did not know what I was looking at.

We have a species, giant American salamander, that reaches 2+ feet in length in the delta that is fairly rare that I hope to see one day.

Thanks for the link. Whenever I get to visit that way I’ll definitely use it as a resource.


Michigan: Unsalted, no sharks. ; )
We do have sea lampries (hideous invaders), but I have never seen one, while I was swimming in Huron or Michigan. Only in tanks at zoos.
Come soon. Our lake ecology has altered enormously in the 40 years or so, since the zebra muscles arrived. When I was a kid Huron was always a gorgeous semi opaque dark jade green. The last time I was in Huron, 2 summers ago, I could have wept. Clear water like pictures of the Bahamas. People think it’s pretty. I only saw death.


I’m in coastal Connecticut, so I’m mostly familiar with marine environments. But I’ve been on some river rafting trips and that is something you might enjoy. Your post is a good one, since Earth Day is this week.

And you might be interesting in signing up for the online world premiere of this film:

Drop. Water Connects us all

This new film from Protect Our Winters Alliance Member and fly-fishing guide Hilary Hutcheson follows a drop of water from its source high in the mountains of Montana to its final destination of the Pacific Ocean. Throughout the film, we meet the people who live, work and play on these rivers—people who work tirelessly to ensure that these waters, and all they support, are healthy. Through this dedication, hard work and passion, Drop illustrates how the water connects us all.


Yes, zebra mussels are a TERRIBLE invasive species.


@paleomalacologist should be able to say quite a bit more, since that is one of his main areas of expertise.


I tried to go back and find you ( him )and could not. I even had a email of a exchange once and spent like 20 minutes looking for it.

I am glad you were here. I initially wanted to send this to you ( him )as a message lol.

Unfortunately. I guess I must have merged y’all into one person never noticing it was a different.

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You may have been closer than you realized: I’m his son.


Freshwater snails are probably the most endangered group of animals globally, followed by freshwater clams. Land snails and crayfish aren’t far behind, though no one has a clue about global conditions for many other taxa such as flatworms, microorganisms, and the like. Freshwater vertebrates also face severe pressures. The hellbenders are the giant salamanders in the US, found in the Ozarks and Appalachians. The Japanese and Chinese giant salamanders are bigger, and especially the Chinese ones are even more imperiled- practically all the wild populations have been taken for food. Dams, channelizing, pollution, depletion of water, overfishing, invasive species, and other human impacts alter the rivers and lakes.

Some links that might be useful include

Conversely, freshwater snails are also important intermediate hosts of parasitic worms.


There is also this one. Which is the one I’m hoping to find in the mobile delta. I am under the impression there is species in California too but I’m not sure without looking it.

This one is the Reticulated siren.

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That is a large sirenid salamander, but in a different superfamily from the giant salamanders in Cryptobranchidae.


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