Brooding Mussels Are Quite Alluring
We see nature come alive during springtime all around us: cherry blossoms blooming to invite bees to spread their pollen, area bald eagles swooping, nesting, and laying eggs; and the Anacostia River's freshwater mussel doing their dazzling displays! Freshwater mussels are able to enact a chameleon-like effect and change their bodies to look like other creatures. Before mussels grow their hard shells, they are microscopic larvae released by their mothers to live the first part of their lives parasitically on host fish. In order to attract a fish, mussel mothers transform to look like another creature their desired host fish might eat. For example, the eastern lampmussel prefers a variety of fish including bass, and the eastern elliptio prefers the American eel.
See these videos below from instagram of some of our mussels doing their lures:
Speaking of the American Eel, here's Jorge Bogantes Montero live upson finding an eel in one of our mussel baskets!