The field season 2015 comes to an end. Last Thursday, Tina, Valentina and me placed out juvenile mussels that have been cultured at the Hemmerstorps mölla lab facility to Klingavälsån and Fyleån. Both streams were habitat restored in 2013 and 2014. Back in time the river was channelized, whereby aquatic habitats were destroyed. Among other reasons, this is why Unio crassus has been extinct in those rivers. The restoration measures brought back the original meanders of the rivers. Post-restoration re-introduction measures of Unio crassus have been taken place as part of our conservation project UC4LIFE. For the current mussel re-introduction we used hole-plates, also called Buddensiek cages. In each hole-plate, juvenile mussels, encaged with gauze nets preventing the small mussels of 300-400 µm to escape, were placed. The cages were then fixed on iron sticks installed on the river bottom. Now, it’s up to the small mussels to survive. Earlier re-introduction trials using Buddensiek cages in Germany or Luxembourg, for example, were successfully rearing mussels with this method. In one year we know more how the Swedish mussels perform it the hole-plates.
/Valentina, Tina and Lea