TOPEKA (KSNT) – State wildlife officials say two protected aquatic species are getting a helping hand in Kansas.

Nadia Marji with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) said in a press release that staff with the Fisheries and Ecological Services are helping two mussel species return to Kansas waterways. These include Fatmucket mussels distributed in the Marmaton River and Neosho Mucket mussels in the Neosho River. Fatmucket mussels are classified as a species in need of conservation (SINC) while Neosho Mucket mussels are endangered.

More than 7,100 Fatmuckets were released in the Marmaton River while around 1,300 Neosho Muckets were placed in the Neosho River. These mussels were produced and distributed with the help of the KDWP’s Aquatic Species Recovery Program and Kansas Aquatic Biodiversity Center.

Marji said the KDWP plans to distribute around 18,000 more mussels in 2024 in southeastern Kansas once drought conditions improve. Plains Minnows, a threatened species in Kansas, are also slated to be released in areas where they have since disappeared.

If you are a landowner and want to help endangered and threatened species recover through the Kansas Aquatic Species Recovery Program, you can send an email to You can learn more about species recovery plans by clicking here.

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