This is what a group (or bed) of freshwater mussels look like under water. Can you see them sticking out of the sand?


When scientists study freshwater mussels they must first find them. There are several ways to find freshwater mussels. Some scientists use a mask and snorkel or scuba dive in streams and lakes. If the water is clear, you can see the freshwater mussels sticking out of the sediment (or dirt) at the bottom of the stream or lake. When the water is not clear scientists use their hands, like the raccoons, to feel around in the sediment for the freshwater mussels; this takes some practice. When the scientists do not want go under water they will use hip waders, like the ones fishermen use. Hip waders allow the scientists to wade into a stream or lake and feel around for freshwater mussels without getting wet.


Here are two divers about to go under water to find freshwater mussels.


These scientists are using hip waders to look for freshwater mussels.


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