Freshwater mussels are fascinating aquatic creatures that can tell us detailed information about the long-term health of waterways and aquatic ecosystems. Despite their importance, very little work has been done to monitor freshwater mussel populations in Wisconsin.

Twenty-eight of the 51mussels in the state are listed as threatened, endangered, special concern or species of greatest conservation need, or species with informational needs.

The goal of Milwaukee Riverkeeper’s Mussel Monitoring program is to identify mussel demographics within in the Milwaukee River Basin. This is part of a larger effort by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) Mussel Monitoring Program of Wisconsin which looks to gain a statewide perspective on mussel populations. Together, we can provide much needed up-to-date information about these ecologically important river species.

Mussel Monitoring

We launched a volunteer-based mussel monitoring program in 2017, working under the guidance of the Wisconsin Mussel Monitoring Program. Mussel monitors complete mussel surveys at priority river stations within the Milwaukee River Basin.

Volunteers attend a volunteer kick-off training hosted by WDNR Mussel Biologists. Milwaukee Riverkeeper staff holds additional volunteer survey events at priority areas throughout the Basin.

Sign up to be a volunteer mussel monitor!

Let us know you are interested becoming a volunteer water monitor. We’ll add you to our email list to receive more information about upcoming training sessions and other opportunities to get involved. If you have additional questions, please email our Water Quality Specialist Zac Driscoll or call (414) 287-0207 x4.


Thanks to our funders for their generous support of this program!