Freshwater Mollusk Health and Disease Assessment

Radisson Hotel and Conference Center
La Crosse, Wisconsin
March 13-15, 2018


Disease Risk Analysis Worksheet CLICK HERE FOR PDF DOWNLOAD

How do you know if your mussels are healthy? What can cause your mussels to get sick? Do my sickly snails have flukes or some other problem?
This 3-day workshop will present a basic understanding of aquatic disease organisms, health assessment and disease diagnostic tools, and pathways of disease transmission.
The opening session will include a review of freshwater mollusk declines, the current state of knowledge on freshwater mollusk health and disease, and a crash course in disease organisms.
The afternoon session will include small panel presentations on health assessment tools, mollusk die-offs and kills, and risk characterization of disease organisms to freshwater mollusk.
On the following two days, participants will rotate in small groups among three sessions:
1) health assessment and diagnostic techniques (e.g., laboratory techniques, mussel histology, and necropsy) at the FWS La Crosse Fish Health Center,
2) response actions to mollusk die-offs/kills, and 3) risk characterization of disease related to mollusk conservation.
Experts in aquatic animal health, freshwater mollusk health and risk assessment will present on the opening day and lead small group sessions on the following two days.

The Workshop will include a poster session, evening mixers with a jam session one night, and a separate opportunity to tour the FWS Genoa National Fish Hatchery Mussel Propagation Facility.

Meeting Registration

Formal registration is now available on the FMCS 2018 workshop Registration page - CLICK HERE -

Early registration begins on November 17, 2017, and will close on January 31, 2018. Registration costs are:


(November 17 – January 31)

(February 1st - March 3rd)

Regular FMCS member



Regular non-member
Non-member rates include
a 1 yr FMCS membership



Student FMCS member



Student non-member
Non-member rates include
a 1 yr FMCS membership




Location & Travel

The workshop will be held at the Radisson Conference Center in La Crosse, WI. The conference facility is located on the banks of the Upper Mississippi River in the heart of downtown La Crosse. The La Crosse Regional airport receives service from Chicago O'Hare and Minneapolis International airports. The hotel provides free shuttle service from the airport. By car, La Crosse is a 2 ½ hour from Minneapolis and 4 hours from Chicago and Des Moines. Transportation will be provided from the Conference Center to the La Crosse Fish Health Center each day.

By Air: The La Crosse Regional Airport offers daily flights through Chicago O'Hare (American) and Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airports (Delta). The Radisson Hotel provides shuttle service to and from the airport.

By Train: La Crosse is served by Amtrak's daily Empire Builder line. Amtrak makes daily stops in La Crosse.

By Bus: Greyhound Lines has a bus station located in downtown La Crosse, just 2 blocks from the Radisson Hotel

By Car: Driving distance to La Crosse from major metropolitan areas: Chicago 4 h, Des Moines IA 4 h, Madison WI, 2 h 15 min, Minneapolis MN 2 ½ h, St. Louis MO 8 h.



Radisson Hotel and Conference Center 200 Second Street South, 200 Harborview Plaza, La Crosse, WI 54601
A block of 65 rooms has been reserved for Workshop attendees at the Radisson Hotel. To qualify for the Group Room Rate ($93/night plus tax) attendees must make the reservations by Thursday March 1, 2018 and ask for the Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society rate when making reservations. Parking is free.

For Reservations call: (608) 784-6680

CLICK HERE for more information on lodging in the La Crosse area

The La Crosse Area Visitors guide is available for download HERE


Call for Abstracts

Workshop participants are invited to submit an abstract for poster presentation on any topic related to freshwater mollusk conservation. The poster session will take place on Tuesday, March 13 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm. A special section will be reserved for reports and case studies of mollusk die-offs.

Posters will be mounted on poster boards and must be no larger than 48 “ by 36”. Posters can be set up any time on Tuesday, March 13 and taken down no later than 10:00 pm on Tuesday, March 13.

The abstract must be typed and should not exceed 250 words. Include name, affiliation, address and email of authors. Indicate presenting author with '*'

Indicate assignment of poster to:
- General poster section
- Mollusk die-off section

Abstracts should be emailed as a Word file to or
Deadline for abstracts is January 31, 2018.


Meeting Theme and Schedule Overview

The 2018 workshop will focus on freshwater mollusk health assessment, characterization of disease risk and strategies for responding to mollusk die-off events.


Monday, March 12th – Arrival, Registration, and Informal Meet and Greet
Tuesday, March 13th – Introduction and Morning I session, break, Morning II session, Lunch, Afternoon Panel presentations and Discussion, with break, Evening Social and Poster Session.
Wednesday, March 14th – Small group sessions. (1) Health Assessment methods (at La Crosse Fish Health Center, transportation provided), (2) Risk characterization, and (3) Response actions to die-offs, Evening Social and Jam Session.
Thursday, March 15th –Final Small group session, Departure or Field trip

Field trip: Take a ride down the scenic Great River Road from La Crosse to the Genoa National Fish Hatchery. The drive will take visitors along the Mississippi River and portions of the Upper Mississippi Wildlife Refuge. Tour the Genoa National Fish Hatchery and learn about their freshwater mussel propagation program.



The FMCS is a not-for-profit society, dedicated to the advocacy and conservation science of freshwater mollusk resources. Our Workshops provide great opportunities to network and build relationships with conservation professionals from state and federal government, industry, universities, and conservation organizations. The Society has a membership of 500, of which about 150 generally attend the biennial Workshops. Instructors for the workshops are members of the Society and other leaders in conservation. These professionals are constantly working to conserve freshwater mollusks, and we need your help. We are requesting monetary sponsorships to help cover the costs of the Workshop facilities.

To become a Sponsor click here
River >$1000 One Complimentary Registration, Logo on Website Registration Page.
Stream $500 - $1000

One Registration Reduced by 25%, Logo Displayed at the Welcome Social. Logo on Website Registration Page.

Eddy $100-$499 Logo on Website Registration Page.
Mussel <$100 Recognition in the Workshop Program.



For more Information:
For further information about the Workshop and inquiries about sponsorships, please contact the Workshop co-chairs:
Diane Waller ( and
Megan Bradley (