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Reproduction for this and most freshwater mussels begins in spring when the male releases sperm into the water and the female siphons them up as she filters food. The eggs are fertilized and develop into larvae (glochidia) within the mother's gills. The glochidia, when released by the mother, will latch onto the gills or fins of a suitable host fish, where they find adequate nutrients to grow. They separate from the fish when ready and fall to their new river bottom location as juvenile mussels. They spend their first couple of years buried in the stream floor and feed themselves with a fleshy (byssal) foot.