Usually August is my water month. The Mike Utt Memorial Scioto River Cleanup occurs, water levels are lower and I’m usually in a stream monitoring somewhere. However, this year June is shaping up to be a water month too. Here are some upcoming June events.
June 6, 2012
Rain Barrel Class
7:00- 9:00 p.m.
Register online at www.dublin.oh.us/recreation
Register in person or by phone at the Dublin Community Recreation Center, 5600 Post Road, 614.410.4550.
Registration ends May 30.
June 13, 2012
Call of the Scenic River (A beautiful documentary on Ohio’s waterways)
1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m showing
Dublin Community Recreation Center Abbey Theater | 5600 Post Road | Dublin 43017
For tickets, visit http://scenicriverdublin.eventbrite.com/
June 16, 2012
Stream Quality Monitoring
10:00 a.m. o 2:00 p.m.
Dublin Service Complex (We will then travel to a park and get in the water!)
Learn how clean Dublin’s water really is! We’ll look at macro-invertebrates and discover an amazing underwater world!
RSVP to Mime Migliore (firstname.lastname@example.org or 614-410-4730)
**This event is not only weather dependent but also water level dependent!
I’ve been focused on water for various reasons this May. One of my meetings took me to the OSU Mussel lab http://www.biosci.ohio-state.edu/~molluscs/OSUM2/. Tom Watters, Curator of Mollusks
Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology shared incredible facts about these overlooked creatures. I’ve had the pleasure of hearing Tom speak on a few occasions and his passion for mussels easily pulls people into a very unique world.
The Ohio State University Mussel lab works to preserve many mussel species. A unique and in my opinion complex reproductive cycle can make it difficult to protect fresh water mussels. Reproduction of mussels starts with the release of sperm from males that is hopefully taken in by females. After fertilization, females grow glochidia, a tiny larval stage of mussels. Glochidia must attach to a host fish to complete their life cycle. This host fish supplies nourishment and after several weeks, the mussel drops off in a new location. Many mussels have a specific host fish. However, researchers often do not know what fish belongs to what mussel.
Mussels can attract their host fish in a variety of ways. Many imitate (through adaptations to their mantel) prey fish, crayfish or even insects to attract a fish; while others just open and rely on the curiosity of a fish. When the fish makes contact the mussel releases their glochidia which then attach to the mussels gills and fins. Unfortunately if the host fish disappears from an environment so can the mussel.
Mussels are important because they clean water. A bed of mussels can filter out bacteria, algae and other small particles from hundreds or even thousands of gallons of water a day. However, because of human intrusion mussels have declined and many are endangered or threatened. Major declines occurred in the 1800’s with button factories and fresh water pearl collection increased. Luckily with the invention of cultured pearls and plastic buttons collection declined in the mid 1900’s with the invention of plastic buttons. Laws also effectively brought collection to a halt and today, it is illegal to remove any mussel or even collect the shell in the state of Ohio without a permit. Today, we affect mussels through non point source pollution including salt, sediment and lawn care products that get into waterways.
I often see mussel shells along the Scioto and we’ve pulled mussels out while monitoring the river too. We’re uncertain of the species but it’s nice to see they’re present. It’s been decades since mussels were studied in the Scioto River. Where have you seen mussels?
For more information contact Mime!