Seventy percent of North American fresh water mussel species are at risk of becoming extinct. In Canada, the Rocky Mountain Ridged Mussel is a freshwater mussel (or bivalve) that is only found in the Okanagan Valley. It is currently listed as Special Concern under Species at Risk Act (SARA) and the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) has recommended it be up-listed to Endangered (2010).
Native freshwater mussels are integral components of our natural and cultural heritage. They filter out water pollution, are closely linked to the health of fish populations and are important prey for many other animals. They are a long-lived species and good indicators of ecosystem health, and one of the most endangered groups of animals on earth. Native mussels, such as the Rocky Mountain Ridged Mussel live among the gravel and sediment along lake shorelines and river or stream bottoms (invasive zebra/quagga mussels, in contrast, are small and grow in dense clumps on pilings, boats and rocks).
Source: Province of BC
Why is this important – both the provincial and federal government have disallowed roto tilling the bottom of the these two lakes in our area to assist the mussel in prospering in this environment. What can be done? Follow the series.