Mussel Population and Distribution on Buffalo Creek, an American Eel Stocked Tributary to the West Branch Susquehanna River
In 2009 the United States Fish and Wildlife Service began stocking young American eel into Buffalo Creek, a small agriculturally impacted stream that feeds into the West Branch of the Susquehanna River. The freshwater mussel Elliptio complanata is known to have higher success rates completing its life cycle using American eel as the host fish for its glochidia (Lellis et al. 2013). The objective of this study was to determine if the American eel will affect mussel populations within their first 5 years of reintroduction into Buffalo Creek and hopes to be a baseline study for future research. A total of ten sites were randomly distributed throughout Buffalo Creek with each site consisting of four 5m x 5m quadrants. In the first year of the study (2012) most mussels found were large E. complanata adults indicating that they had been present before the eel reintroduction. In 2013 we recorded almost twice as many mussels as last year and four new species (Strophitus undulates, Lampsilis cariosa, Alasmidonta marginata, and Villosa iris).
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Buffalo Creek Watershed