Hickorynut Mussel

Hickorynut mussel
(also known as the olive hickorynut)
Obovaria olivaria

Size: The hickorynut mussel grows to about 7.5 cm at the largest.

Habitat: These mussels are found in the sandy bottom of the Mississauga River, Ottawa River, St. Lawrence River and the Saint Francois River.

Diet: The hickorynut mussel is a filter feeder which means it sucks the bacteria and algae out of the water for food. This process also cleans the water at the same time which is why they are very important.

Native/ non-native: This is a native species to our river and great lakes.

Status: This species is currently at risk. The invasive species, the zebra mussel is attaching itself on the hickorynut mussels. With hundreds of these invasive species on one hickorynut is making them fall over and they can’t eat, breath or reproduce.

Fun fact: This is just 1 of 17 species of mussels living in our river. To reproduce, mussels attach themselves in the gills on their host fish and when they get big enough they fall to the river bottom. In this case the host fish is the sturgeon.

Click on the image to enlarge.