AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A decision is pending on whether to place
Colorado River mussels on the federal endangered species list.
The Austin American-Statesman reports that an endangered
designation may prompt legal battles over how freshwater across
much of the state is allocated.
The shellfish go by a variety of names, such as fat mucket, heel
splitter and false spike. They are more common in the Colorado
River basin that bisects central Texas than anywhere else in the
Because they filter the water they ingest, they retain
contaminants in the water and pass them on to the river animals and
insects that feed on them.
Endangered status could mean state river authorities may have to
recalculate how much water can be allocated to industries, farms
and communities in the Colorado basin and still leave enough to
sustain the mussels.