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A federally endangered fanshell (Cyprogenia stegaria) taken from the Clinch River near Sneedville.

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Critically endangered (IUCN) and federally endangered Cumberlandian combshell (Epioblasma brevidens). It has lures that look like fish eggs on top that are used to attract fish. When a fish strikes at the lures, the mussels then eject their larvae into the fish’s gills and are able to increase their distribution, even upstream. The Clinch River has more federally listed aquatic species than any river in North America, yet is threatened by pollution and habitat loss. Coal mining in the watershed now raises the threat even more.

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A federally endangered fanshell (Cyprogenia stegaria) taken from the Clinch River near Sneedville.

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Critically endangered (IUCN) and federally endangered Cumberlandian combshell (Epioblasma brevidens). It has lures that look like fish eggs on top that are used to attract fish. When a fish strikes at the lures, the mussels then eject their larvae into the fish’s gills and are able to increase their distribution, even upstream. The Clinch River has more federally listed aquatic species than any river in North America, yet is threatened by pollution and habitat loss. Coal mining in the watershed now raises the threat even more.

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Critically endangered (IUCN) and federally endangered Cumberlandian combshell (Epioblasma brevidens) taken from the Clinch River near Sneedville. They have ball lures on top that are used to attract fish to come near. When a fish strikes at the lures, the freshwater mussels then eject their larvae into the fish’s gills and are able to increase their distribution that way.

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Critically endangered (IUCN) and federally endangered Cumberlandian combshell (Epioblasma brevidens) at the Clinch River near Sneedville, Tennessee.

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Freshwater mussels collected by biologists from the Clinch River in Tennessee.

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Cumberlandian combshell (endangered freshwater mussel) in the hands of biologists on the Clinch River in Kentucky. Mussels are the most endangered fauna species, with 50% of them now either threatened, endangered, or extinct.

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Endangered freshwater mussels in the hands of biologists onthe Clinch River in Kentucky. Mussels are the most endangered fauna species, with 50% of them now either threatened, endangered, or extinct.

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Endangered freshwater mussels from the Clinch River in Kentucky. Mussels are the most endangered fauna species, with 50% of them now either threatened, endangered, or extinct.

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Biologists dive in search of endangered freshwater mussels on the Clinch River in Kentucky. Mussels are the most endangered fauna species, with 50% of them now either threatened,endangered, or extinct.

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Endangered freshwater mussels from the Clinch River in Kentucky. Mussels are the most endangered fauna species, with 50% of them now either threatened, endangered, or extinct.

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Endangered freshwater mussels in the hands of biologists onthe Clinch River in Kentucky. Mussels are the most endangered fauna species, with 50% of them now either threatened, endangered, or extinct.

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Endangered freshwater mussels in the hands of biologists onthe Clinch River in Kentucky. Mussels are the most endangered fauna species, with 50% of them now either threatened, endangered, or extinct.

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Endangered freshwater mussels from the Clinch River in Kentucky. Mussels are the most endangered fauna species, with 50% of them now either threatened, endangered, or extinct.

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Endangered freshwater mussels in the hands of biologists onthe Clinch River in Kentucky. Mussels are the most endangered fauna species, with 50% of them now either threatened, endangered, or extinct.

Photo: Julie Jensen Director of Marketing | WVC O: 866.800.7326 | D: 702.443.9249 | E: j.jensen@wvc.org

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