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1 yr ongoing Mussel Monitoring

Page history last edited by Mary.Ellsworth 3 weeks, 5 days ago

Mussel Monitoring                                              BACK to ACBA Mussels front page


The Final Mussel Measurement session will be June 23 at 10am,  Anacostia Community Boathouse

Release of the ACBA mussels into the river will be in July.  Watch for mussel release party announcement!



 June 10 - ACBA 4th basket found at Kingman Lake 

Lost basket #3 was found by a former AWS staff on land.  Sadly, all contents were dead.  5/19 - Jorge counted 65 mussels, dead





 June 6 - Cleaning 3 baskets at ACBA 

Jorge and Mary cleaned the debris and mud from the 3 baskets along the seawall.  Basket #2 is the missing one.  

            Counts of dead mussels cleaned from each basket:   Basket #1 21 dead;     Basket #2 131 dead :     Basket #4 51 dead .     

                                                                                             Basket #2 is the one that was stranded on the seawall by the tide (unknown length of time)

These Alewife floaters have been growing in floating baskets at the Anacostia Community Boathouse for a year. 

 A large tub with water serves for washing the mussels. Then we sort out any dead, and put the living back in their basket (right)

 Setting the baskets back into the river and anchoring with a rope to the seawall.


Be well little mussels! In a few weeks you will begin a new life living free in the Anacostia River.



. May 20 - Lost basket recovered at Kingman Island! 

On April 21 Mary discovered there were only two baskets floating off the breakwall at the boathouse.  One of those was

high and dry on the shore, probably pushed up there by the high tides we've been having.  No idea how long it had

been out of the water.   Mary refloated the basket and checked the ropes (the rope was broken where the two lost baskets

had been).   We don't know if any of the mussels are alive in that basket.  


Mussel Disaster:   On April 21 One basket is discovered stranded above the sea wall, and two are missing (broken rope)   


May 20 - Jorge retrieved a basket from Kingman Island and placed it with the remaining two off the sea wall. 

Kyle is urged to do a measurement session asap.  Mussels will be released in June/July, probably

from Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens.  The fourth basket was probably found in the river near the DC/MD line earlier,

but those mussels were mixed with others so it will not be counted as part of the ACBA mussels count.


Basket found by a volunteer on Kingman Island



Happy to have two and maybe three healthy mussel baskets again!




  April 11 - Returning 4 baskets to ACBA.  Today Jorge cleaned the mussels and removed them from

the KAG pond.  The mussels look good, although we did find a few empty shells, so there was some loss over

the winter.  The shells remain in the baskets.  We drove them to the boathouse and returned them to the same area

off the seawall where they had been before. 

Jorge dumps the mussels from one basket into a large milk crate and a tub and rinses off a heavy layer of fine mud. 


Sloshing mussels in the pond to clean off the mud.

Sticks, snails, crayfish, etc were removed and the mussels go back into their basket.  

They look good!  a few open (dead) shells are in there - they'll be included in the final measurement session to determine mortality

All four baskets are ready to be loaded into the truck (the 4th was carried to the truck already).

Safe in their baskets, the Alewife Floaters are going for a ride.  


The tide was very high at the boathouse (~11:30am).  Jorge got the baskets onto the edge of the seawall, then used a pole to push each one into the river.  


Four baskets float just beyond the seawall.

A very high tide and a heavy load of debris has come down the river.

Somehow Jorge does all this and stays clean.  Mary's muddy face tells another story!





 Feb 9 - Moving 4 basket to KAG for protection from winter storms.  The mussels look healthy. 

Mussels tend to not grow much in colder weather when there's less algae in the water.  We hope to move them back to

ACBA in March/April. 



Jorge is putting ACBA's 4 mussel baskets into the first big pond

at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens


ACBA's four baskets - 2 waiting to be submerged, 2 set in place underwater.

 View from the Visitor center out over the big pond - 4 ACBA baskets on the far edge.

 Basket location - Visitor Center left, baskets on the edge of the small pond, right. 



October 1 - Mary Ellsworth checked at high tide - only one basket showing showing under water.  Hoping others are there, but was was relatively clear.



September 8 - Jim Smailes checked at low tide - all four baskets showing, likely at least two are sitting on the bottom.  Heavy debris.

Yesterday, September 7, Kyle wrote:  "I also found them at High Tide but Unfortunately I was not able to find the other two baskets."


September 5 - Jim Smailes checked at high tide - only two baskets floating.  Are the other two sitting on the bottom? 


August 24, checked by Jim Smailes.  Jim tried to push the trash away from the baskets.  Two baskets were just under the surface.


July 30 basket check. All four baskets are floating so the linear tie up seems to be working ok.  

 Less debris and garbage than for other check ins  Looking good! Baskets tending to hug the wall.


 May 29 - Only 3 baskets showing


 The baskets are located near the stake we added. 

Mary pulled on the ropes and the 4th basket came

up from where it sat on the bottom. Jorge suspects

it's full of sand/sediments and needs to be emptied


April 22 - congested with trash and tree debris.

On April 25 - a few large pieces of trash, but baskets were

mostly free of trash. Pulled a basket and found a lot of sand inside w mussels


April 30 Much less trash.   Baskets have 



 April 25 - Dead fish found with the baskets  - Identified tentatively as Alewife  



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