Saturday, July 29, 2017

Dwarf Wedgemussel

One of our tiny endangered creatures in New Jersey is the freshwater mussel.

Rarely longer than an inch and a half, they once existed in large New Jersey waterways like the Delaware River, Hackensack River and Passaic River.

Freshwater mussels in general are considered "canaries in the creek" because they are indicators of good water quality, and so their disappearance indicates problems in the way that canaries were once used to test the air quality in coal mines.

Now, the only known locations of the mussel are in New Jersey are the Paulins Kill, the Pequest River, Big Flat Brook and Little Flat Brook. The dwarf wedgemussel occurs only in Sussex and Warren Counties, but it had formerly occurred in Morris, Essex, Bergen, and Mercer Counties too.

The species was listed as endangered in New Jersey in 1990.


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