Two kinds of freshwater shrimp live in Missouri waters.
The Mississippi grass shrimp, also known as glass or ghost shrimp, is common to sluggish, freshwater habitats. You can see their organs as their body is transparent like glass. At little more than an inch long, they are small and inconspicuous. These shrimp are relished by fish and other predators.
A much larger species, the Ohio shrimp, lives in fresh and brackish waters and may reach four inches long. They were known to migrate along the Mississippi river from the Gulf of Mexico and back. Ohio shrimp were commonly harvested for food in the 1800's. Today they are rare in our state.
Freshwater shrimp are food for fish and other wildlife and may live in the waters where you fish and boat. They are closely related to crayfish and are an important element of some Midwestern habitats.
For more on glass shrimp, visit MDC’s Field Guide.