Did you know freshwater mussels are one of the most imperiled groups of animals on the planet, with 70 percent of the world's mussel species declining? In Wisconsin, 24 of the 50 native mussel species are endangered, threatened or listed as species of concern, according to Wisconsin DNR Conservation Biologist Lisie Kitchel, who works with native mussels. Mussels are important because they filter the water removing pollutants and contaminates while providing food for a host of wildlife. Lisie is encouraging paddlers, anglers, and other water lovers to take a few minutes to help photograph and report the native mussels they see while on the water. For more information, contact her at: Lisie.Kitchel@wisconsin.gov and take a look at this clever video, “Show us your mussels” at https://youtu.be/bIsn6uZdVwA that will show you what you can do to help. We all want to enjoy our fresh, clean Wisconsin waters and showing your mussels can help make that happen.

Nature notes

Berry pickers have been out in full force the past few weeks. Mary Lou has been out picking red raspberries and blueberries and are they ever good in pancakes! With all the rain we have had, berries are in good condition, but there is a lot of competition from wildlife for them. We have never seen so many monarch butterflies in years. I saw eight of them on one butterfly weed bush at one time and I must be careful while mowing as they tend to fly in front of the mower. White-tail bucks are putting on good antler growth and lots of turkey broods have been observed. It doesn’t seem possible, but some shorebirds are on the move south already.

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