Buying Time for Endangered Species

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Published on: Oct. 2, 2006

Last revision: Nov. 29, 2010

depending on the type of mussel.

The host fish are then placed in a tub or small tank with aeration (to keep the water oxygenated and the glochidia suspended). The larvae then clamp down on the gills of the host fish. Ideally, up to 300 will attach. This number is small enough not to cause the fish too much stress. The inoculated fish are held in either a recirculating tank or flow-through tank depending on the host fish used.

When the glochidia become attached, they begin metamorphosing into juvenile mussels. Once they have developed into a juvenile mussel, they release from the fish and are collected from the holding tanks by siphoning the water from the bottom and sifting it through small filters. About three days after the first mussel has released, all the mussels will have dropped off of the fish and will be stocked into their natural habitat. Because the host fish develops a resistance to glochidia, they are not used again and are released.

As Missouri’s human population grows, continued changes to aquatic habitat can be expected. While protecting good habitat and restoring damaged habitat is the key to long-term survival of native species, efforts by Department hatcheries will hopefully “buy some time” for endangered fish and mussels, ensuring that they survive these changes.

Share your passion

The only thing more fun than doing your favorite outdoor activity is sharing your passion for it with others.

Feel the pride

Become a vital part of one of the nation’s most respected conservation departments—an agency dedicated to managing Missouri’s fish, forest and wildlife resources.

Enjoy the satisfaction

Know that your work makes a difference for Missouri’s people and nature—today and for the future.

A small sampling of volunteer roles

  • Naturalist: This position requires the highest level of commitment. As a naturalist, you will receive a comprehensive training course covering a variety of conservation topics. After graduation, your skills will be used to greet and assist visitors, lead interpretive programs and care for nature center animals and resources.
  • Instructor: In this role, your job will be to help the Department teach people how to enjoy outdoor activities safely and successfully. Activities include hunting, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, bird watching and many others. Qualifications and training for outdoor skills instructors vary.
  • Conservationist: As a general volunteer, you may be asked to staff the reception desk, develop programs, help maintain the facility, perform office tasks or lead a special workshop. As with other volunteer positions, general volunteers are trained and appreciated as a valuable part of the conservation workforce.

Contact your local conservation facility or visit to find a volunteer opportunity that’s a good match for your outdoor passion and skills. See page 1 for a list of regional phone numbers.

Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center

1401 N.W. Park Road, Blue Springs, MO 64015

Building Hours

Open year ’round, Monday through Saturday, 8–5 p.m.; Sunday, noon–5 p.m.; closed New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Area Hours

Open daily 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. during daylight-saving time, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. the rest of the year. Closed New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Telephone and Website

(816) 228-3766;

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