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Lyubov Burlakova [00:00:00] So, in 2011, together with Brian Lang and also David Berg and Ken Inoue from Miami University we started a mark/recapture in a small patch, about 1000 square meters, in the La Bota area in Laredo. And we did this mark/recapture for three full years. And over this time, we, in this small patch, we marked about 2000 mussels.

Lyubov Burlakova [00:00:26] And then, interestingly enough, our son, who was in high school, and in middle school, and in elementary school in Texas, and he was helping us with surveys in Texas, at that time, he was a student in Cornell University. And I told him, "I don't have anyone to work with mark/recapture data? Why don't you try it for your class?"

Lyubov Burlakova [00:00:47] And eventually we published a paper, and he was able to show that there is some kind of advective dispersion. So when, with flood, part of the mussels will be washed away from this population with high flow.

Lyubov Burlakova [00:01:02] And that actually present another danger, because when the mussels are flushed out and they find themselves below, but this area below is not hospitable for them - they cannot survive there. That's where you have a huge population loss.

Lyubov Burlakova [00:01:21] And that's what we've been able to find, because we checked pretty well the Rio Grande in Laredo, like almost every 500 meters. And although sometimes there was a lot of trash in the river and so on, but there were some really nice patches where you could still see mussels.

Lyubov Burlakova [00:01:38] But, as soon as we got to Laredo's sewage plant, just before that, there was a big stone, and we found about 50 mussels under this stone. Just after Laredo, and 40 kilometers below, no more Texas hornshell.

Lyubov Burlakova [00:01:54] And when we were disturbing sediments and trying to find mussels, all these 40 kilometers below Laredo, and Nuevo Laredo's sewage plant, on the other side, in Mexico, that's when our captain was sitting on the airboat and said, "Stop doing that. I can't breathe here. It smells like sewage!"

Lyubov Burlakova [00:02:15] And in the last kilometers, we start finding other mussels, but not Texas hornshell.

Lyubov Burlakova [00:02:22] So, they are probably very, very, very sensitive to ammonia or other components of wastewater.