NEOSHO, MO.--- A Neosho species gets federal protection under the Endangered Species Act. The Neosho Mucket is a freshwater mussel unique to the upper Arkansas River System. It's easy to spot, because of the brilliant green rays on its shell. Over the years, the Mucket's population has dwindled, largely due to heavy metal mining and poor farming. Practice experts say with more than 60% of this mussel's population is gone, it must be protected.
"The mussels are like the carriers that was in the mines. They are wonderful water quality indicators for our water quality in nature. So, just like carriers were indicators and when something was quite right in the deep mines, the mussels are similar in that respect," said Dave Hendriz, Neosho Fish Hatchery Manager.
The federal protection should be complete by the end of the month. Once it takes affect it will illegal to kill, harm, harvest or possess one of the Neosho Muckets.
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