Wild, scenic, and one of the last strongholds of a rare mussel

A perfect mist over the Farmington River in Connecticut. Credit: Tom Cameron.
A perfect mist over the Farmington River in Connecticut. Credit: Tom Cameron.

A perfect mist over the Farmington River in Connecticut. Credit: Tom Cameron.

Where are we today?

“They’re just such wonderful rivers,” said Sally Rieger, her passion for Connecticut’s Farmington River and Salmon Brook apparent as she spoke about the many unique values of these pristine waters. “There are so many amazing resources, both biological and cultural. The diversity of wildlife is astounding.”

Rieger is the chair of a committee working on a study to demonstrate why the Lower Farmington River and the Salmon Brook should be designated as Wild and Scenic Rivers.

If this happens, it will be a major step in the recovery of one of the world’s most imperiled species of freshwater mussels.

Check out other stories of endangered plant and animal conservation in the Northeast – We’re sharing them throughout the year!
Dwarf wedgemussel. Credit: USFWS

Collection, poor water quality and deteriorating habitat conditions led to the decline of the dwarf wedgemussel and continue to threaten remaining populations. Their decline often signals a decline in the water quality of streams and rivers. Biologists have focused on working with landowners to improve stream conditions for the species. Credit: USFWS.

The Lower Farmington River is home to one of the last remaining healthy populations of the federally endangered dwarf wedgemussel (Alasmidonta heterodon).

Thanks in large part to the excellent water quality of the Farmington, this tiny freshwater mussel has managed to maintain a stronghold here, particularly in the stretch between the towns of Avon and Simsbury.

Once the Lower Farmington and Salmon Brook Wild and Scenic Study Committee has completed its work, a report will be sent to Congress, which will ultimately decide on whether or not these river systems are worthy of the prestigious Wild and Scenic designation. …Read the rest of the story!

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