International Symposium of the Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society - April 19-24, 2009 - Baltimore Marriott Waterfront - Baltimore, Maryland
Field Trips

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Photo of Smithsonian


The National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) is part of the Smithsonian Institution, the world's preeminent museum and research complex. The museum is dedicated to inspiring curiosity, discovery, and learning about the natural world through its unparalleled research, collections, exhibitions, and education outreach programs.

NMNH serves as one of the world's great repositories of scientific and cultural heritage as well as a source of tremendous pride for all Americans.

Photo of Smithsonian


The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian on the National Mall galleries and display spaces house both permanent and temporary exhibitions. The museum's permanent exhibitions, Our Universes, Our Peoples, and Our Lives, represent important ideas and experiences in Native life and history. Temporary exhibitions will present individual artists' works, explore specific themes in Indian culture, or bring objects from other institutions to the museum. The museum's galleries also include cases containing study collections and outstanding objects from the museum's collections.

Our Universes: Traditional Knowledge Shapes Our World
Ongoing, NMAI on the National Mall, Washington, DC.

Entry is Free to all National Museums in Washington, DC.


  • Leave Baltimore Marriott at 9:00 am

  • First stop: Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC.

  • Join Dr. Robert Hershler, Curator of the Mollusk Collections and Art Bogan, Curator of Aquatic Invertebrates, North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences, for a free, private and informal tour of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Mollusk Collection.

  • To keep the group size manageable, there will be two back-to-back 20-30 minute tours of the Mollusk Collections. At the same time and for those interested, a tour of the Gastropod Collection will be conducted with Dr. Ellen Strong, who is also a Curator of the Mollusk Collection.

  • These collections are also available for individual research visits, please contact Dr. Robert Hershler directly at, if you would like to spend time studying the collections.

  • Leave the NMNH at 12:30 pm. (You are welcome to remain at the NMNH or visit other sites in the area.)

  • Second Stop: National Museum of the American Indian on the National Mall

  • Take one of the following one-hour highlights tour at the NMAI:
    Tours are given at 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. :
    All tours assemble in the Potomac (1st level).

  • The bus will depart the NMAI at 3:45 pm

  • The bus will depart at the NMNH at 4:15 pm

  • Arrive at the Baltimore Marriott by 5:00 pm.

  • A minimum sign-up of 14 people is needed and a maximum of 33 people can be accommodated (a waiting list will be created); this is an 8 hour field trip.

  • Per person cost for round-trip transportation: $30.00.

  • Lunch is on your own. Entry is free to the museum.

Photo of Smithsonian


Perhaps a day outdoors, enjoying the sites and smells at the National Zoological Park (also known as the National Zoo) is more suitable to you and your family.

The National Zoo is a 163-acre zoological park set amid Rock Creek Park in the heart of Washington, D.C. Open to the public 364 days a year, it is home to 2,000 individual animals of nearly 400 different species. The best known residents are the giant pandas, Tian Tian, Mei Xiang, and their cub, Tai Shan.

The National Zoo is a place where people can marvel at wonderful animals, learn about wildlife and its conservation, and enjoy a beautiful peaceful experience among the gardens. The National Zoo is also a research, conservation, and education center for endangered species; and boasts a state-of-the-art veterinary hospital and extensive research facilities.


  • Leave Baltimore Marriott at 9:00 am

  • Only stop: National Zoo

  • Leave National Zoo at 2:00 pm.

  • A minimum sign-up of 14 people is needed and a maximum of 33 people can be accommodated (a waiting list will be created); this is a 5 hour field trip.

  • Per person cost for round-trip transportation: $30.00.

  • Lunch is on your own.

  • Entry to the National Zoo is free.

Thursday, April 23, 2009



Come out and join us in viewing some of the eastern United States' Atlantic slope freshwater mussels. Led by biologists from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, we'll be surveying two distinctly different aquatic systems. First, we'll visit an area along the Maryland shoreline of the upper fresh tidal section of the Potomac River (across from Mt. Vernon, Virginia) with a fairly high diversity of unionids. As many as 10 species can be found here including the tidewater mucket (Leptodea ochracea), eastern pondmussel (Ligumia nasuta), eastern lampmussel (Lampsilis radiata) and alewife floater (Anodonta implicata). With a mid-day low tide, we should be able to find numerous live and dead specimens of these species. The area occurs within historic Colonial Farms National Park. We'll then visit Nanjemoy Creek, a small, nontidal, forested coastal plain stream with one of the region's best remaining populations of the federally endangered Alasmidonta heterodon. Other species can be found as well, such as the highly variable eastern Elliptio (Elliptio complanata). Nanjemoy Creek lies within an extensive preserve owned by The Nature Conservancy and is home to numerous rare, threatened and endangered plants and animals.

Itinerary and Information

  • Depart the Baltimore Marriott Hotel at 8:00 AM and return around 5:00 PM
  • View buckets and a limited number of hip boots and chest waders will be provided; if possible, please bring your own gear
  • Trip is contingent on weather and stream conditions
  • A minimum sign-up of 10 people is needed and a maximum of 25 people can be accommodated (a waiting list will be created)
  • Per person cost is $25.00
  • Round-trip transportation and lunch will be provided


Contact Brian Watson at or (434) 525-7522, x 114. The field trip is not on the registration form so the $25.00 fee will be collected when you check in at the FMCS desk in Baltimore, no exceptions. Your registration packet will be highlighted as a mussel field trip participant through registration with Brian.

April 24-25, 2009 - HATCHERY FIELD TRIPS

General Information

We are thrilled you want to come visit our hatcheries. We have lots to show you. But first, we want to be sure you understand there will be a fair amount of driving and travel time involved to visit our hatcheries.

On day 1, you will travel approximately 5 hours to White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery and tour the hatchery in the afternoon, followed by relaxing evening together at the Historic General Lewis Inn located about 15 minutes from the hatchery.

On day 2 you will drive 2.5 h to Marion VA to visit the AWCC, and then you will return (1.5 h) to Blacksburg, VA (or Christiansburg VA) to sleep.

On day 3 you will visit the VA Tech Freshwater Mussel Conservation Center in the morning and travel back to Baltimore in the late afternoon (6 h travel time).

Field Trip Attendees

The hatchery field trips are intended for registered attendees of the 2009 FMCS Symposium only. A minimum sign-up of 5 people is needed and a maximum of 20 people can be accommodated (a waiting list will be created); this is a 3-day field trip. Others not registered for the 2009 FMCS symposium, and wishing to attend are welcome to rent their own vehicles and tag along.

Per person cost for round-trip transportation: $35

Group meals will be organized at local restaurants. Costs for individual meals and hotel reservations will be the responsibility of the individual.

Hotel reservations must be booked by March 27, 2009.

We have 15 rooms held at the General Lewis Inn, White Sulphur Springs, WV and

15 rooms are being held at the Econo lodge, Christiansburg, VA

Book now to be sure you have a room. There are more rooms available, but only 15 rooms are being held at the above named hotels.

When placing reservations at the General Lewis or the Econo Lodge, ask for rooms on hold for the Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society, and Catherine Gatenby

Friday, April 24, 2009



Located in the beautiful Allegheny Highlands of West Virginia, White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery is one of the oldest national fish hatcheries in the United States. Originally established in 1900 to produce fish for the American Public, White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery began research into freshwater mussel conservation in 1995. Today, hatchery biologists use state-of-the-art technology to propagate and culture federally endangered freshwater mussels in order to prevent extinction, and to recover species to healthy population sizes. As well, WSSNFH propagates common freshwater mussels in an effort to restore the natural filtration capacity of the beds, a critical ecosystem service in rivers and streams. Hatchery staff will provide guided tours of the mussel propagation facility as well as the trout raceways and egg incubation facilities.

Accommodations for Friday, April 24: White Sulphur Springs, WV

General Lewis Inn
Dinner on Friday the 24th and Breakfast on Saturday the 25th will be held at the General Lewis Inn on Friday, April 24 and Saturday, April 25. Meals are not included in the price of the room, and will be the responsibility of the individual.

General Lewis (15 rooms being held):
301 E. Washington Street
Lewisburg, WV 24901
The following 15 rooms are being held:
5 Queen beds (1 bed/room): $135
5 Double Beds (1 bed/room): $110
5 Double beds (2 beds/room): $135

Other hotels in the area, no FMCS rooms are being held at these hotels:

Brier Inn and Conference Center
540 N. Jefferson Street
Lewisburg, WV 24901
2 queen or 1 king bed $78.00

Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites
222 Hunter Lane
Lewisburg, WV 24901
2 queen or 1 king bed $77.00

Hampton Inn
30 Coleman Drive
Lewisburg, WV 24901
2 queen or 1 king bed $92.00

Saturday, April 25, 2009



The Aquatic Wildlife Conservation Center (AWCC) operated by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland fisheries (VDGIF) is located along the banks of the scenic South Fork Holston River near Marion, Virginia. Established in 1998, the AWCC is a nongame production facility that specializes in the cultivation of freshwater mussels and snails. Over 30 adult mussel species, several of which are threatened and endangered, make their home at AWCC. Over one million juveniles of 23 species have been propagated with many held for grow-out beyond a year of age. AWCC staff will be on hand to give a guided tour of the facility, explain the mussel propagation process, and show juvenile mussels reared at the facility.

Accommodations for Saturday, April 25: Blacksburg, VA

Please note: A VA Tech Home football game is also occurring that weekend so book your room as soon as possible. Thus, the nearest hotel with rooms available was in Christiansburg, at the Econolodge, located 8 miles from Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA.

Econolodge (15 rooms are being held):
2430 Roanoke St.
Christiansburg, VA 24073
(540) 382-6161

Sunday, April 26, 2009



In 1978, the nation's first cooperative research and propagation facility was established to restore and recover endangered freshwater mollusks in Virginia and adjacent states. Numerous graduate student theses and dissertations over a 20+-year period provided the knowledge and expertise to implement the propagation program. In 1997, the first propagated juveniles of a federally endangered species were released to augment reproduction in that population. Over the last 10 years, the annual production of juveniles has gradually increased, such that the facility now produces roughly 250,000 juveniles of about 10 species each year, for release of juveniles to natal rivers in VA and TN. The VT Mussel Lab has been at the forefront of mussel research and advises both national and international efforts focused on mussel biology and conservation.

Accommodations for Sunday, April 26. Baltimore, MD

Comfort Suites BWI Airport, located <2 miles from BWI Airport
(10 rooms are being held) Free shuttle is offered to BWI Airport.
Ask for block of rooms for the Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society
815 Elkridge Landing Rd
Linthicum Heights, MD, 21090
1-866-539-8430 (toll-free)
1-410-691-1000 (direct line to hotel; this number might be the better number to use so that you get the agreed upon $89/night).

You are welcome to return to the Marriott Waterfront, the Symposium rate of $155 will be available all weekend. A shuttle is available, you must call to make reservations: 1-800-258-3826 or $14/one way.

Itinerary April 24-26, 2009

Friday, April 24, 2009

First stop: United States Fish and Wildlife Service, White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery and Aquatic Resource Recovery Center

Join Dr. Catherine Gatenby, Hatchery Manager, and staff for a guided tour of the White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery (WSSNFH)

Contact: Catherine Gatenby,, Phone: 304-536-1361

  • Leave Baltimore Marriott: 8:30am
  • Lunch upon arrival in White Sulphur Springs, WV
  • Tour WSSNFH : 2:00-4:30pm
  • Check into General Lewis Inn, Lewisburg, WV.
  • Dinner at the General Lewis Inn
  • Lodging at the Historic General Lewis Inn, Lewisburg, WV ($100/night)
  • Breakfast at the General Lewis Inn, Lewisburg, WV

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Second Stop: Aquatic Wildlife Conservation Center (AWCC), Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries, Marion, Virginia

Join Mike Pinder, Wildlife Diversity Biologist for Virginia and staff for a guided tour of the Aquatic Wildlife Conservation Center

Contact: Mike Pinder,, Phone: 540-961-8387

  • Leave General Lewis Inn, Lewisburg, WV: 8:30am
  • Arrive AWCC 11:30am
  • Lunch in Marion, VA
  • Tour AWCC 12:30 pm-3:00pm
  • Depart AWCC at 3:00pm
  • Arrive in Blacksburg, VA at 5:00pm
  • Dinner and hotel in Blacksburg, VA

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Third Stop: Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Center (FMCC), Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia

Join Dr. Richard J. Neves, Professor Emeritus and Co-creator of the FMCC and Jess Jones, Restoration Biologist, US Fish and Wildlife Service, for a guided tour of the Virginia Tech Freshwater Mussel Conservation Center.

Contact: Jess Jones, ( Phone: 540-231-2266.

  • Tour FMCC 9:00-11:30am
  • Lunch in Blacksburg, VA
  • Depart for Baltimore, MD. At 1:00pm
  • Arrive Baltimore, MD at 6:30pm**

**Please note: traffic and other unforeseeable events may occur during travel back to Baltimore, MD. Please do not schedule a flight home until Monday.

*** We could offer a field trip to local river and mussel populations on Sunday if the group would like this, and weather permits. However, travel back to Baltimore would occur on Monday. Please send e-mail noting your interest in this option to Rachel Mair,

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