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Endangered Species

Ohio Shrimp (Macrobrachium ohione) Ohio shrimp, which may grow up to 4 inches long, live in fresh and brackish water along the eastern United States seaboard to the Gulf of Mexico and are the only species of Macrobrachium found in the Mississippi River. Ohio shrimp have a curved rostum and up to 13 teeth; glass shrimp, their smaller relative, have a straight rostum and usually seven or fewer teeth. Once common in the Mississippi River below St. Louis, where commercial fisheries once existed near Chester and Cairo, Ill., Ohio shrimp were thought to be extirpated (locally extinct) in the Mississippi River bordering Missouri and Illinois since 1962. In 1991, however , Conservation Department biologists and a student from Southern Illinois University rediscovered them. The decline in the population of Ohio shrimp is thought to be related to the channelization of the river.--Bob Hrabik