Saving our Pearl Mussels: assisting encystment

Sam Jones – River Esk Project Student

The big day finally arrived. As mentioned previously (at least twice) we have been prepping for our bankside encystment project to assist the endangered Freshwater pearl mussel in the Yorkshire Esk to reproduce. I won’t go into it too much as I think I’ve told you the process in enough detail but suffice it to say all went to plan – without a hitch*. The Environment Agency team were brilliant and we got all the fish we needed in plenty of time, even the weather behaved, and the mussels – well they didn’t really seem to do anything, because they’re mussels – but hopefully they produced their glochidia.

Now we can only wait and see next spring whether we were successful. Hopefully we will be bringing you news of lots of developing young mussels on the fishes’ gills next year.

I’ll leave you a taste of the rather manic day – see the pictures below and there is even an 8 minute feature.

Now unfortunately I must say goodbye. My year of working for the North York Moors National Park Authority has come to an end, and it has been wonderful.



* There was a potential hitch. About a week previously Simon, the Esk Project Officer and lead on the Encystment Project, had dislocated his knee which curtailed his mobility and meant he was unable to be involved on the day. Fortunately Sam stepped up to the task, and Simon is now on the mend.



1 thought on “Saving our Pearl Mussels: assisting encystment

  1. Pingback: So did it actually work? | The official blog for the North York Moors National Park

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