Recreators and Visitors

Welcome to the beautiful Tippecanoe River! We’re so happy that you want to come visit such a vibrant area. But before you do, there’s some important information you need to know.

The Tippecanoe River is home to 6 threatened/endangered freshwater mussels. While you might think that there is not much you can do to help these guys out since you’re just visiting, that’s not true! Even a short visit to the river can have a big impact on these mussels. So here is a list of the five most important things you can do to help save the mussels while still fully enjoying the Tippecanoe River!


While they may seem hard and tough, like rocks, many mussels are actually fragile. Their shells do a great job at protecting them from predators but they can still be crushed. When a canoe or kayak drags over them in really shallow, rocky parts of the river it may crush the mussel! They may be heavy, but carrying your canoe/kayak will just add to your experience and give you a chance to cool your feet off in the water!

  1. DON’T PICK ME UP! – Do not collect mussels!

They may seem like great souvenirs to remember your trip to the Tippecanoe River but please don’t take any mussels home with you! Mussels will die if they are out of the water for too long. Also, because they are endangered it is illegal to collect any part of the mussels, alive or dead. So if you really want something to remember your trip by maybe take some pictures or keep a journal of the wildlife that you saw!

  1. DON’T LITTER – Pick up your trash!

It may seem easy to drop your sandwich bag on the river shore or your apple core in the river, but if you have any trash from your trip please take it with you to the nearest trash receptacle! Mussels work really hard to keep the river clean and any extra trash just makes their job harder. The Tippecanoe is a beautiful, clean river and you can help keep it that way!


Commit to helping us save the mighty mussels! By signing our pledge you agree to carry your canoe/kayak, not collect mussels and pick up your trash. The pledge can be found at canoe rental stores along the river, public access points, the nature center in Tippecanoe River State Park, and on our website.  Take the pledge and receive a prize!

  1. Tell your friends!

Know anyone else planning on spending time on the Tippecanoe River? Great! We would love for them to help save the mussels too!  Share with them why mussels are important and what they can do to help save them. If they still have questions send them to our website,!

Thanks so much for choosing the Tippecanoe River as your destination and remember:

Healthy Mussels, Healthy River!

Forestry and Natural Resources 715 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47906-2061, (765)494-3531
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