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Document Type

Research

Keywords

Mussels, Fairport Biological Laboratory, history of biological laboratories, mussel propagation, history of U.S. Bureau of Fisheries, history of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Max M. Ellis, Robert E. Coker, George Lefevre, Winterton C. Curtis

Abstract

During the 1890s, people on the Mississippi River exploited mussel populations to support a thriving button industry. Within a brief time, they noticed significant declines in mussel populations, and called on the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries to save the resource. This paper discusses mussel propagation studies, techniques, and activities carried on in association with the Fairport Biological Laboratory (Iowa) from about 1908 to 1932. While scientists developed sophisticated techniques and had success in mussel propagation, changing habitat conditions in the river (caused mainly by pollution and dam construction) meant limited success in rescuing mussel stocks, while the introduction of plastic and the growth of foreign sources of mussel shells influenced the decline of the button industry on the Mississippi River.

Publication Date

July-December 2005

Journal Title

Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science

Volume

112

Issue

3-4

First Page

36

Last Page

47

Copyright

© Copyright 2007 by the Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.

Language

EN

File Format

application/pdf