Date(s) - 5/1/18 through 5/31/18
8:00 am - 4:30 pm

Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center


May is Mussel Month at the Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge!

The Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge would like to invite you to our special Mussel Month event running the entire month of May. We will be hosting guest speakers at the top of their field, teach about the river and provide craft time activities for children, and all of this is in addition to a brand new mussel-themed exhibit we’re very excited to show off. The exhibit will include a live mussel tank where visitors will have the chance to get up close and personal with these often overlooked yet fascinating animals.  Other exhibits provide information on why mussels are so important both for humans and the Ohio River ecosystem.  We can’t wait for you to see!  A list of currently scheduled events can be found below.

Mussel Month will be held at the Refuge Visitor Center located at 3982 Waverly Rd in Williamstown, WV. Starting in May we will be open 7 days a week from 8:00am-4:30pm, so stop by anytime to learn why the value of mussels is undeniable. You will never see the river the same way again!


May 5th:     Grand Opening of Meet the Mussels Exhibit

10:00am – Meet the Mussels – Crafts for kids!

1:00pm – Ieva Roznere, Museum of Biological Diversity, Ohio State University

What relationship do mussels have with other animals in the river? Why are 70% of mussel species threatened or endangered? These questions are closely related – find out how at this intriguing program, where Ieva focuses on the extraordinary life cycle of mussels!


May 12th:   10:00am – Meet the Mussels – Crafts for kids!

7:00pm – Guest Speaker, Jo Ann Banda, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Biologist

Every day, we use a diverse range of chemicals such as pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and flame retardants used in almost everything.  Explore how our actions are causing problems for  fish and mussels.


May 15th:   7:00pm – Guest Speaker, Lisa Dugas, Pennsylvania Archeological Council

Do you want to learn more about how ancient native cultures used freshwater mussels? You may be surprised by what we’ve discovered. Lisa will specifically cover how the mussels were used by the “Panhandle Archaic Culture”!


May 19th:   10:00am – Meet the Mussels – Crafts for kids!


May 22nd:   7:00pm – Guest Speaker, Janet Clayton, Wildlife Diversity Biologist, Mussel

Program Leader, WV Department of Natural Resources

Join Wildlife Diversity Biologist Janet Clayton to learn about West Virginia’s program to survey, monitor and restore freshwater mussels. She will share Videos of mussels and provide information about mussel reintroductions in the Ohio River.


May 26th:   10:00am – Meet the Mussels – Crafts for kids!


May 31st:   7:00pm – Guest Speaker, Tyler Hern, Fisheries Biologist, White Sulphur Springs

National Fish Hatchery

Join us as Fisheries Biologist Tyler Hern highlights the role Fish Hatcheries play in freshwater mussel propagation; discussing the many trials and tribulations of growing mussels to be reintroduced to the wild.