According to a story in USA Today, U.S. Fish and Wildlife biologist, Jordan Richard, said that since 2016, 80,000 pheasantshells died on a 219-yard stretch of the Clinch (estimated mussel populations on the river dropped by 50 percent). The Nature Conservancy has labeled the Clinch River basin the No. 1 hotspot for imperiled aquatic species, including 19 varieties of fish. Similar die-offs have taken place in other rivers across the country. In Europe, 26 countries have reported up to 90 percent declines in mussel populations, according to a story in National Geographic.