October 22nd Meeting – Lisie Kitchel (WDNR) on “Wisconsin’s Native Freshwater Mussels: A Unique Resource”

Lisie Kitchel is a Conservation Biologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) working in the Bureau of Natural Heritage Conservation where she is an expert on Wisconsin’s native freshwater mussels.  Lisie is trained as an Aquatic Ecologist with a BS in Ecosystems Analysis and an MS in Fisheries and has over 30 years of experience working with rare and endangered aquatic species.

Did you know that Wisconsin has 52 different species of native mussels?  Well it does!  Our native mussels, or clams as they are more commonly called, are one of Wisconsin’s most diverse yet hidden treasures.  Mussels have a surprisingly complex life cycle which is dependent on fish and they have adapted amazing ways to attract these fish as hosts.  Mussels have also contributed to the history of Wisconsin from food to buttons to pearls.

Freshwater mussels surveyor at work.

Acting as filters mussels improve the water quality of our lakes, rivers and streams and they are good indicators of changing environmental conditions.  Mussels are so important indicators that the WDNR has developed a Wisconsin Mussel Monitoring Program and recently completed a Freshwater Mussels Survey.  Lisie’s presentation guarantees that you will come away with a greater appreciation of these unique animals.


Buzz McFly