Freshwater Mussels Are Dying And No One Knows Why : Short Wave In 2016, biologists and fishermen across the country started to notice something disturbing. Freshwater mussels were dying in large numbers. NPR National Correspondent Nathan Rott tells us about the unsolved mystery surrounding the die-off, the team racing to figure it out, and why mussels are so important for the health of our streams and rivers.
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Freshwater Mussels Are Dying And No One Knows Why

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Freshwater Mussels Are Dying And No One Knows Why

Freshwater Mussels Are Dying And No One Knows Why

Freshwater Mussels Are Dying And No One Knows Why

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/813000584/813789637" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A recently dead pheasantshell mussel is rotting in its shell. Snails, crawfish and other river inhabitants will eat the flesh. "Nothing goes to waste," says Virginia biologist Tim Lane. Nathan Rott/NPR hide caption

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Nathan Rott/NPR

A recently dead pheasantshell mussel is rotting in its shell. Snails, crawfish and other river inhabitants will eat the flesh. "Nothing goes to waste," says Virginia biologist Tim Lane.

Nathan Rott/NPR

In 2016, biologists and fishermen across the country started to notice something disturbing. Freshwater mussels were dying in large numbers. NPR National Correspondent Nathan Rott tells us about the unsolved mystery surrounding the die-off, the team racing to figure it out, and why mussels are so important for the health of our streams and rivers.

Follow Nathan Rott on Twitter at @NathanRott and Maddie Sofia at @maddie_sofia. Email the show at shortwave@npr.org.

This episode was produced by Brit Hanson and edited by Viet Le.