Janet Clayton is standing thigh-deep in a back channel of the Elk River. Clad in a wetsuit and knee pads, the silver-haired biologist with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources reaches into a bright orange mesh bag submerged in water.
Inside are a half dozen mussels she plucked from the rocky river bottom.
“This is called a long solid,” Clayton says. An earthy colored shell about the size of a computer mouse sits in the palm of her hand. “As it gets older it gets really long.”
People like you value experienced, knowledgeable and award-winning journalism that covers meaningful stories in Central and Eastern Kentucky. To support more stories and interviews like this one, please consider making a contribution.