Report on the Progress of Recovery Strategy Implementation for the Round Hickorynut (Obovaria subrotunda) and Kidneyshell (Ptychobranchus fasciolaris) in Canada for the Period 2006-2011

Round Hickorynut and Kidneyshell

Table of contents

Round Hickorynut and Kidneyshell

Recommended citation

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). 2012. Report on the progress of recovery strategy implementation for the Round Hickorynut (RHN) (Obovaria subrotunda) and Kidneyshell (KS) (Ptychobranchus fasciolaris) in Canada for the period 2006-2011. Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Report Series. Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa. iv + 28 pp.

For copies of the progress report, or for additional information on species at risk (SAR), including Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) Status Reports, residence descriptions, action plans, and other related recovery documents, please visit the SAR Public Registry.

Cover illustrations: Courtesy Environment Canada (EC)

Également disponible en français sous le titre
« Rapport sur les progrès de la mise en œuvre du programme de rétablissement de l'obovarie ronde (Obovaria subrotunda) et du ptychobranche réniforme (Ptychobranchus fasciolaris) au Canada pour la période allant de 2006 à 2011 »

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 2012 All rights reserved.
ISBN 978-1-100-21177-0
Catalogue no. Fs23-586/2012E-PDF

Content (excluding the cover illustration) may be used without permission, with appropriate credit to the source.

Authors

This document was prepared by Peter Jarvis (DFO Contractor) and Amy Boyko (DFO) on behalf of Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Acknowledgments

Fisheries and Oceans Canada would like to thank the members of the Ontario Freshwater Mussel Recovery Team for their support in the development of this progress report.

Preface

Section 46 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) requires the competent Minister to report on the implementation of the recovery strategy for a species at risk, and on the progress towards meeting its objectives within five years of the date when the recovery strategy was placed on the Species at Risk Public Registry.

Reporting on the progress of recovery strategy implementation requires reporting on the collective efforts of the competent Minister, provincial organizations and all other parties involved in conducting activities that contribute towards the species’ recovery.


Executive Summary

As a result of the overlap in the historic and current ranges of the Round Hickorynut and Kidneyshell, there is substantial commonality in threats to their continued survival. A key component in the progress towards fulfilling recovery objectives has been the systematic collaboration with existing ecosystem recovery teams. This collaboration has taken the form of multiple research projects as well as stewardship teams that actively monitor and coordinate habitat improvement projects on the Ausable, Sydenham, and Thames rivers systems. These collaborative efforts resulted in concrete progress in the form of habitat improvement and protection, and important biological insights of these two species.

The following is a list of the most important accomplishments in meeting the recovery objectives as stated in the recovery strategy:

  • Much of the current and historic ranges of the two species have been surveyed; this has resulted in the discovery of the Kidneyshell in the upper Thames River, a location where it was thought to be extirpated. An improvement in the understanding of population demographics of the two species has occurred.
  • New host fishes have been confirmed for both species in the laboratory, while fish surveys have advanced range and abundance knowledge for all known host fish species.
  • Habitat requirements are adequately described in the recovery strategy for these species, which has allowed for the partial identification of critical habitat in the species’ riverine habitat. The identification of critical habitat in lacustrine environments has yet to be defined but is in progress.
  • Long-term monitoring programs have been developed that not only include provisions for the mussel species but also for their host fishes and habitat. Monitoring stations have been added and now cover important locations currently and formerly occupied by the Round Hickorynut and Kidneyshell.
  • Some threat mitigation has occurred, often in coordination with the applicable conservation authority, and has focused on reducing the impact of agricultural practices on lands adjacent to mussel habitat. The restriction of livestock from watercourses and the protection and restoration of riparian habitat are expected to improve water quality and general habitat conditions.
  • Advancement of genetic techniques and knowledge specific to Unionid mussels has reached a point where mapping of the genetic structure of the Round Hickorynut and Kidneyshell is possible and will be key to further efforts that may involve relocation and reintroduction programs.
  • Outreach programs have successfully reached the general public within the applicable watersheds, with conservation authorities playing a leading role. Landowners have been targeted and numerous successful habitat stewardship programs have been completed as a result of direct contact with agricultural operators with land adjacent to mussel habitat.


1. Background

1.1 COSEWIC assessment summary

COSEWIC assessment summary – May 2003

Common name: Round Hickorynut
Scientific name: Obovaria subrotunda
COSEWIC status: Endangered
COSEWIC reason for designation: This species has been lost from 90% of its former range in Canada. Populations in the Grand and Thames rivers are extirpated and populations in the Sydenham River are declining, all due to the combined effects of pollution and agricultural impacts. Most of the Great Lakes populations have been lost due to impacts of the Zebra Mussel, and the remaining population in the St. Clair delta near Walpole Island may be at risk. If the Eastern Sand Darter were the host of this species, then the decline of this threatened fish would affect the mussel’s survival.
Occurrence: Ontario
COSEWIC status history: Designated Endangered in 2003.

 

COSEWIC assessment summary – May 2003

Common name: Kidneyshell
Scientific name: Ptychobranchus fasciolaris
COSEWIC status: Endangered
COSEWIC reason for designation: This species has been lost from about 70% of its historical range in Canada due to impacts of the Zebra Mussel and land use practices. It is now restricted to the East Sydenham and Ausable rivers. Although both populations appear to be reproducing, there is evidence that abundance has declined in the East Sydenham River. Agricultural impacts, including siltation, have eliminated populations in the Grand and Thames rivers, and threaten the continued existence of this species in Canada.
Occurrence: Ontario
COSEWIC status history: Designated Endangered in 2003.


1.2 Threats

1.2.1 Threats to the species

Table 1 is an assessment of the threats to extant populations of the Round Hickorynut (Obovaria subrotunda) and Kidneyshell (Ptychobranchus fasciolaris) in the St. Clair River delta, Sydenham River, and Ausable River as found in the previously published recovery strategy (Morris 2006).

Table 1. Assessment of threats to extant populations of the Round Hickorynut and Kidneyshell in Canada. St. Clair River delta and Sydenham River threats apply to Round Hickorynut and Kidneyshell populations. Ausable River threats apply to Kidneyshell populations. (n/a = not applicable). Table adapted from Morris (2006).
ThreatRelative Impact
predominant/contributing
Spatial/Temporal
widespread/local
chronic/ephemeral
Certainty
probable/speculative/unknown
St. Clair River deltaSydenham RiverAusable RiverSt. Clair River deltaSydenham RiverAusable RiverSt. Clair River deltaSydenham RiverAusable River
DreissenidFootnote a musselspredominantn/an/awidespread chronicn/an/aprobablen/a-
Siltationn/apredominantpredominantn/awidespread chronicwidespread chronicn/aprobableprobable
Water quality – nutrients and contaminantscontributingcontributingcontributingwidespread
chronic
widespread
chronic
widespread
chronic
speculativeprobableprobable
Water quantityn/acontributingcontributingn/awidespread ephemeralwidespread ephemeraln/aspeculativespeculative
Decline of host fishcontributingcontributingn/awidespread
chronic
widespread
chronic
n/aspeculativespeculative-
Urbanizationn/acontributingcontributingn/alocal
chronic
local
chronic
n/aspeculativespeculative
Impoundmentsn/acontributingn/an/alocal
chronic
n/an/aunknown-
Predationn/acontributingcontributingn/alocal
ephemeral
local
ephemeral
n/aunknownunknown

Footnotes

Footnote 1A

Zebra Mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) and Quagga Mussel (D. bugensis).

Return to footnote a


1.2.2 Threats to critical habitat

Note that critical habitat was not identified in the original recovery strategy for these species but will be identified to the extent possible in an updated proposed recovery strategy to be published in 2012 (DFO 2012). As critical habitat had not been identified by Morris (2006), the original recovery strategy references threats to currently occupied habitat, which are summarized below.

Critical habitat of these two species could be negatively affected by a wide variety of activities; some of the more probable and potentially deleterious threats to their habitat are identified in the original recovery strategy and include the following:

  • Direct habitat destruction could result from in-stream activities such as dredging, bridge and pipeline crossings or the construction of dams.
  • Water quality or quantity can be negatively affected by land-based activities such as the input of nutrients, sediment and toxic substances through improperly treated storm water, cultivation of riparian lands, unfettered access of livestock to the river, channelization and drainage works, water taking, aggregate extraction, and the release of improperly treated sewage.
  • Any activity that disrupts the connectivity between mussel populations and their host species (i.e., various darter species), which can be considered habitat for mussels during the glochidial stage, may result in the destruction of habitat. Such activities can include damming, dewatering, and sport or commercial harvest activities that harm host species.


2. Recovery

2.1 Recovery goals and objectives

Recovery goal

The long-term recovery goals as stated in the original recovery strategy for Round Hickorynut and Kidneyshell (Morris 2006) are:

  1. To prevent the extirpation of the Round Hickorynut and Kidneyshell in Canada;
  2. To return healthy self-sustaining populations of Round Hickorynut to the Sydenham River and St. Clair River delta;
  3. To maintain healthy self-sustaining Kidneyshell populations in the Ausable and Sydenham rivers while returning the St. Clair River delta population to a self-sustaining level; and,
  4. To re-establish populations in historically occupied habitats.

These populations can only be considered recovered when they have returned to historically estimated ranges and/or population densities and are showing signs of reproduction and recruitment.

Recovery objectives (Short-term: 5-years)

  1. Determine extent, abundance and population demographics of existing populations;
  2. Determine fish hosts and their distributions and abundances;
  3. Define key habitat requirements to identify critical habitat;
  4. Establish a long-term monitoring program for Round Hickorynut and Kidneyshell populations, their hosts and the habitat of both;
  5. Identify threats, evaluate their relative importance and implement remedial actions to minimize their impacts;
  6. Examine the feasibility of relocations, reintroductions and the establishment of managed refuge sites; and,
  7. Increase awareness about the distribution, threats and recovery of these species.


2.2 Performance measures

Performance measures were not identified in the original recovery strategy; therefore, progress will be measured against the stated short-term recovery objectives as listed above (Section 2.1. Recovery objectives).

3. Progress Towards Recovery

The original recovery strategy for Round Hickorynut and Kidneyshell divided the recovery approaches into four categories: Research and Monitoring, Management, Stewardship, and Awareness. Progress in each of these four categories is addressed separately (Sections 3.1-3.4), providing a summary of the implementation of the documented recovery approaches (Tables 2-5). The emphasis of the current progress review is on approaches that were deemed Urgent and, where applicable, Necessary, and Beneficial in the original recovery strategy. The assessment of Stewardship Activities (Section 3.3) has been subdivided by watershed as these activities have been performed by distinct groups operating within watersheds. The listing of results is meant to briefly touch on some of the more significant accomplishments and is not meant to be exhaustive.


3.1 Research and monitoring activities

Table 2. Research and monitoring activities conducted/ongoing since the completion of the recovery strategy. (1-1) Confirm the host fish species for the Round Hickorynut (further studies on the host fish of Kidneyshell have also been deemed important).
ActivitiesRecovery objectives addressedFootnote aResultsFootnote bAgencies involvedFootnote bFunding sourcesFootnote bReferences
Development of experimental protocol to test fish host (2006-2011)i, ii, iv, v
  • Experimental protocol developed for screening fish hosts
  • Over 100 fish and freshwater mussels combinations (19 fishes; 8 unionids) have been examined with a success rate (i.e., host fishes determined) of 20-45%
University of Guelph (U of G)Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF), DFO, EC, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR)Footnote c, World Wildlife Fund (WWF)In progress, McNichols (2007),
McNichols et al. (2011)
Fish host identificationii
  • Fish hosts for the RHN and KS determined in the laboratory
  • Determined presence and gravidity periods of SAR mussels in the Sydenham, Grand, Ausable, and Thames rivers (gravidity observed in KS)
  • Determined the settling velocity of glochidia and juvenile mussel SAR
  • Fecundity estimates generated (RHN/KS)
  • Observation of length of glochidial attachment to host species (KS)
U of GCWF, DFO, EC, OMNR, WWFIn progress,
McNichols (2007), McNichols et al. (2011),
Schwalb and Ackerman (2011)

 

Table 2 continued. Research and monitoring activities conducted/ongoing since the completion of the recovery strategy. (1-2) Determine the distribution and abundance of the host species.
ActivitiesRecovery objectives addressedFootnote aResultsFootnote bAgencies involvedFootnote bFunding sourcesFootnote bReferences
Collection of fish data in Sydenham, Thames, and Ausable rivers (2007)ii
  • Host fish population data gathered and levels of encystment recorded
  • Host fish predictive models developed for KS
  • Functional connectivity calculated for KS in Sydenham and Ausable rivers
Trent U., U of GDFO, EC, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), OMNR, WWFWoolnough et al. 2007
Host fishes surveyed in the Ausable River (2009)ii
  • Host fish distributions assessed
Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA), DFOABCA, DFO, OMNR, Species at Risk Research Fund for Ontario (SARRFO)Upsdell et al. (2011)
Miscellaneous fish surveys (2006-2011)ii
  • Host species distribution and abundance data have been compiled as a result of non-specific fish sampling within the range of these two mussel species
e.g., DFO, OMNR, Trent U, U of G, University of Toronto (U of T)e.g., DFO, NSERC, OMNR, WWFe.g., Poos et al. 2010

 

Table 2 continued. Research and monitoring activities conducted/ongoing since the completion of the recovery strategy. (1-3) Determine the habitat requirements for all life-stages (critical habitat identification)
ActivitiesRecovery objectives addressedFootnote aResultsFootnote bAgencies involvedFootnote bFunding sourcesFootnote bReferences
Channel stability assessed and mussels and host fishes surveyed in the Ausable River (2009)i, ii
  • Increased understanding of the influence of geomorphology on mussel and host fish distributions
  • Comparison of mussel surveys to past efforts accomplished
ABCA, DFOABCA, DFO, OMNR, SARRFOUpsdell et al. (2011)
Refinement and inquiry into environmental conditions for all life-stagesiii
  • Chloride and copper limits refined
  • Increased knowledge of dissolved oxygen, flow and substrate requirements
EC, McMaster U, U of GCopper Development Agency (CDA), DFO, EC WWFGillis et al. (2008), Gillis et al. (2010), Gillis (2011)
Measurement of chemical/physical characteristics of rivers and hyporheic zonesiii
  • Characterization of surface and groundwater to aid identification of critical habitat
U of GCWF, DFO, OMNRIn progress
Investigating reproductive attributesiii, v
  • Timing and water temperatures of gravid females observed (KS)
U of GCWF, DFO, EC, OMNR, WWFMcNichols (2007)

 

Table 2 continued. Research and monitoring activities conducted/ongoing since the completion of the recovery strategy. (1-4) Prepare a distribution map of areas of suitable habitat (critical habitat identification)
ActivitiesRecovery objectives addressedFootnote aResultsFootnote bAgencies involvedFootnote bFunding sourcesFootnote bReferences
Mapping exercises for the Ausable River watershed (2008)i, iii
  • Development of suitable habitat criteria and mapping for KS
ABCA,
DFO
ABCA ( in kind), Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation (ABCF), DFO, OMNR, Thames Talbot Land Trust (TTLT), WWFUpsdell et al. (2010)

 

Table 2 continued. Research and monitoring activities conducted/ongoing since the completion of the recovery strategy. (1-6) Establish a network of permanent monitoring stations throughout the distribution of Round Hickorynut (and Kidneyshell) (1-7) Establish permanent monitoring sites for tracking changes in habitat
ActivitiesRecovery objectives addressedFootnote aResultsFootnote bAgencies involvedFootnote bFunding sourcesFootnote bReferences
Ausable River watershed monitoring program establishment (2006-2008)i, iv
  • Seven permanent monitoring stations established
  • Baseline density estimates and population demographics established for KS
  • A monitoring program was developed for the Ausable River
  • Physical site characteristics (e.g., substrate type, water depth and velocity) were related to mussel presence
ABCA, DFOABCA (in kind), DFO, Interdepartmental Recovery Fund (IRF)Baitz et al. (2008)
Survey monitoring stations in the Ausable River watershed (2011)i, iv
  • Seven permanent monitoring stations surveyed five years after they were established
  • Preliminary data show a possible decline in mussel densities
ABCA, DFOABCA, ABCF, DFO, Habitat Stewardship Program (HSP), OMNRIn progress
Sydenham River monitoring program establishment and implementation (1999 – 2007)iv
  • A monitoring program was developed for the Sydenham River
  • 15 stations established
  • Physical site characteristics (e.g., substrate type, water depth and velocity) were related to mussel presence
  • In the Sydenham River, the KS was also found in close proximity to the Plain Pocketbook (Lampsilis cardium), suggesting a similarity in habitat and/or environmental preferences
EC, Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)DFO, IRFMetcalfe-Smith et al. (2007b)
St. Clair River delta (Walpole Island) monitoring program establishment and implementation (2003 - 2011)iv
  • A monitoring program was developed for the St. Clair River delta
  • Nine sites were established in the Canadian waters of the delta in 2003-2004
  • Eight of these sites were revisited in 2011
  • Established to assess population changes and monitor threat of dreissenid mussels
  • Studies reveal that, despite declining dreissenid levels, freshwater mussels continue to decline, with RH and KS essentially extirpated from this system.
DFO, EC, Walpole Island First Nation (WIFN)DFO, WWFMS in preparation, Metcalfe-Smith et al. (2007a)
Grand River monitoring program establishment and implementation (2007 – present)i, iv
  • Four index stations were established in the upper Grand River
  • Mussel communities and reproduction were assessed at each site
  • No KS or RHN encountered
DFODFOMS in preparation - Morris and McNichols-O’Rourke
Thames River monitoring program establishment and implementation and expansion of Grand River monitoring program (2010)i, iv
  • Surveys were completed in the lower Grand and Thames river systems
  • No live KS or RHN encountered; fresh KS shells were found in the lower Thames River, suggesting that the species is still present in this section of river
  • Six permanent monitoring stations were established on the lower Thames River and three on the lower Grand River
DFODFOMS in preparation - Morris and McNichols-O’Rourke
Surveys in the lower Thames and Grand river systems (2010)i
  • Exploration of new methods (dredging and trawling) for sampling lower river mussel populations
  • Due to low unionid densities and unfavourable habitat conditions, these methods are not being further investigated
DFODFOn/a
Mussel surveys – Welland River (2008)i
  • Surveys were completed in the Welland River drainage
  • No KS or RHN encountered
DFODFOMorris et al. 2012b
Mussel surveys – Bayfield River, Nottawasaga River (2007-2009) 
  • Surveys were completed in the Bayfield River and Nottawasaga River drainages
  • No KS or RHN encountered
DFODFOMinke-Martin et al. 2012, Morris et al. 2012a.
Abundance and population demographic determinationi
  • Marked and measured the size of all species at risk mussels found in the field, which provided mark-recapture and growth data
  • New location for KS detected in Ausable River tributary (Nairn Creek) and fresh shells observed in the lower Thames River
U of GCWF, DFO, EC, OMNR, WWFIn progress,
McNichols (2007), McNichols et al. (2011)

 

Table 2 continued. Research and monitoring activities conducted/ongoing since the completion of the recovery strategy. (1-8) Identify and evaluate threats to all life stages (1-8)
ActivitiesRecovery objectives addressedFootnote aResultsFootnote bAgencies involvedFootnote bFunding sourcesFootnote bReferences
Determine the sensitivity of glochidia to copper and examine the role of dissolved organic carbon in protecting mussels from acute copper exposure.
(2006-2010)
iii, v
  • Increased understanding of toxicity of copper to glochidia (including KS/RHN), including the influence of water hardness and dissolved organic carbon on copper sensitivity
  • Compiled data on copper levels (and other water chemistry parameters) in key mussel habitats in Ontario and compared to concentrations shown to be toxic to larval mussels
  • Determined that the levels of water hardness and dissolved organic carbon in many mussel habitats in southern Ontario will provide protection from copper exposure, but episodic pulses or spills may exceed protective capacity
EC, U of GCDA, DFO, WWFGillis et al. (2008, 2010)
Assess the effect of environmentally relevant chronic copper exposure on juvenile freshwater mussels (2010-2011)iii, v
  • Assessed effects of copper on survival and growth, as well as biomarkers of metal exposure, respiration and oxidative stress
  • Determined the toxic mode of action of copper in juvenile mussels
EC, Federal U of Rio Grande (Brazil), McMaster U.Canadian Research Chair (CRC) Program, International Development Research Centre (IDRC)MS in preparation Jorge et al. (2012)
Studying the sensitivity of glochidia to road salt run-off and assessing the potential for chloride induced toxicity in mussel habitats
(2008-2011)
iii, v
  • Assessed the toxicity of NaCl to various mussel glochidia (including KS)
  • Compiled data on chloride levels for key mussel habitats in Ontario and compared to concentrations shown to be acutely toxic to larval mussels
  • Determined that chloride levels in some mussel habitats in southern Ontario reach levels acutely toxic to glochidia
  • Provided results to the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) for the development of the Chloride Canadian Water Quality Guidelines for the Protection of Aquatic Life
ECECGillis (2011)
Examine the impact of urban inputs (municipal wastewater effluents and road runoff) on wild mussel health (2008-2011)iii, v
  • Demonstrated significantly reduced condition factor and mussel age and some impacts on immune status in mussels living downstream of multiple municipal wastewater effluents and urban runoff, when compared to mussels from upstream locations
ECECMS in review - Gillis (2012)
Examine the effect of municipal wastewater effluents on caged freshwater mussels
(2010-2011)
iii, v
  • Deployed (i.e., caged) mussels both up and directly downstream of the outfall of municipal wastewater effluent outfalls in multiple rivers (results of an assessment of biomarkers of stress and immune status in field-deployed mussels are pending)
EC, Trent U., University of Alberta (U of A), University of New Brunswick (UNB), University of Ottawa (U of O), University of Waterloo (U of W)Canadian Water Network (CWN), ECMS in preparation – Gillis et al. (2012)
Identify those exotic species that may be deleterious to SAR musselsii, v
  • The Round Goby (Neogobius melanostomus) was deemed a potential fish host for KS, while transformation rates were significantly reduced compared to darter species (only one juvenile)
  • The Round Goby has been identified as a threat to mussel populations due to the potential disruption of their reproductive cycle
DFO, OMNR, U of G,
University of Toronto (U of T)
DFO, NSERC, Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS), OMNR, Trent U, WWFMcNichols et al. (2010), Poos et al. (2010)
Quantify sediment and nutrient inputs from agricultural drainage systems and point sourcesv
  • Research on sediment and nutrient input has informed recommendations for more effective strategies for reduction of loading to rivers
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), DFOAAFC, IRFBall Coelho et al. 2010

 

Table 2 continued. Research and monitoring activities conducted/ongoing since the completion of the recovery strategy. (1-9) Compare the within and among population genetic variability of Canadian populations and determine if populations show genetic structure by comparing variability between populations in Canadian and U.S. waterways.
ActivitiesRecovery objectives addressedFootnote aResultsFootnote bAgencies involvedFootnote bFunding sourcesFootnote bReferences
Review of literature of genetic and environmental implications of reintroductions (2008)v, vi
  • Recommendations made to preserve genetic variability, maintain population fitness and reproductive success for future reintroductions
DFO, U of GDFOHoftyzer et al. (2008)
Optimization of genetic techniquesvi
  • Assessed methods for obtaining genetic material
  • Genetic marker development and optimization successful for KS
  • DNA extraction and amplification procedures for glochidia investigated
Central Michigan University (CMU), Trent U, U of GDFO, NSERC, OMNR, WWFIn progress, McNichols et al. (2010)

 

Table 2 continued. Research and monitoring activities conducted/ongoing since the completion of the recovery strategy. Other Activities.
ActivitiesRecovery objectives addressedFootnote aResultsFootnote bAgencies involvedFootnote bFunding sourcesFootnote bReferences
Developing methods of artificial propagation in the laboratory (2008-11)ii, vi
  • Successfully transformed and attempted to rear juvenile KS
  • Developed new re-circulating system for rearing juvenile mussels, including determination of the role of substrate in the rearing process
  • Determined water source and optimal diet for rearing juvenile mussels
U of GCWF, DFO, OMNRIn progress
Developing methods of artificial propagation in the field (2008-11)ii, iv, vi
  • Confirmed success of field enclosures
  • Determined methods for rearing infested fishes overwinter and successfully obtaining juvenile mussels
U of GCWF, DFO, OMNRIn progress
Examined the dispersal ability of mussels and their conservation statusi, ii and v
  • Found that, in southwestern Ontario, the mussels with the most precarious conservation status relied on host fishes that had short movement distances
  • Results suggest dispersal limitations should be included in conservation and management decisions
U of GDFO, NSERCIn Progress,
Schwalb (2009), Schwalb et al. (2011), Schwalb et al. (2012)

RHN = Round Hickorynut; KS = Kidneyshell.

Footnotes

Footnote A

Refers to all relevant recovery objectives from the recovery strategy as stated within Section 2.1.

Return to footnote a

Footnote B

A list of acronyms has been provided at the end of this report.

Return to footnote b

Footnote C

OMNR funding may have come from various OMNR sources, such as: Species at Risk Stewardship Fund, Species at Risk Research Fund, Aquatic Research and Development Section, Biodiversity Branch, Southern Region etc.

Return to footnote c

 

3.2 Management activities

Table 3. Management activities conducted/ongoing since the completion of the recovery strategy. (2-1) Promote and enhance expertise in freshwater mussel identification/biology and provide for the transfer of knowledge.
ActivitiesRecovery objectives addressedFootnote aResultsFootnote bAgencies involvedFootnote bFunding sourcesFootnote bReferences
Ontario Freshwater Mussel Identification Workshopvii
  • DFO freshwater mussel identification course has been developed and trained over 200 people
DFO, EC, U of TDFOn/a
Development of a Canadian Freshwater Mussel Guidevii
  • A national freshwater mussel identification application for Smartphone devices is under development
DFO, Lakehead University (LU)DFOn/a
Development of Ontario Field Guidevii
  • A freshwater mussel field-guide has been produced and is being promoted
EC, DFO, Natural Heritage Information Centre (NHIC), St. Clair Region Conservation Authority (SCRCA), St. Clair Region Conservation Foundation (SCRCF), St. Thomas Field Naturalists (STFN)EC, HSP, OMNRFootnote c, St. Clair Region Conservation Foundation (SCRCF), St. Thomas Field Naturalists (STFN)Metcalfe-Smith et al. (2005)
Mussel sampling standardization and relocation techniquesi, iv, vi
  • Publication of protocols and methods for addressing the presence and relocation of mussel species
DFO, U of GDFOMackie et al. (2008)

 

Table 3 continued. Management activities conducted/ongoing since the completion of the recovery strategy. (2-2) Work with existing ecosystem recovery teams to implement recovery actions.
ActivitiesRecovery objectives addressedFootnote aResultsFootnote bAgencies involvedFootnote bFunding sourcesFootnote bReferences
Collaborative efforts; further details are contained in Section 3.3 (ongoing)All
  • Ongoing collaboration with applicable recovery teams (e.g., Sydenham and Ausable rivers) on stewardship and research activities has maximized knowledge and resource transfer and minimized redundancy
ABCA, DFO, Essex Region Conservation Authority (ERCA), Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA), SCRCA, Upper Thames River Conservation Authority (UTRCA)HSPn/a

 

Table 3 continued. Management activities conducted/ongoing since the completion of the recovery strategy. Other Activities:
ActivitiesRecovery objectives addressedFootnote aResultsFootnote bAgencies involvedFootnote bFunding sourcesFootnote bReferences
Proclamation of Ontario’s Clean Water Actv
  • The Act, which came into effect in 2006, protects Ontario’s source water via local committees that list existing and potential threats and implement actions that will reduce or eliminate these threats
  • Based on sound science, this approach allows for communities to take a “hands on” approach to conserve and protect their own watersheds
Ontario Ministry of the Environment (OMOE)n/aOMOE (2012)

Footnotes

Footnote A

Refers to all relevant recovery objectives from the recovery strategy as stated within Section 2.1

Return to footnote a

Footnote B

A list of acronyms has been provided at the end of this report.

Return to footnote b

Footnote C

OMNR funding may have come from various OMNR sources, such as: Species at Risk Stewardship Fund, Species at Risk Research Fund, Aquatic Research and Development Section, Biodiversity Branch, Southern Region etc.

Return to footnote c

 

3.3 Stewardship activities

Table 4. Stewardship activities conducted/ongoing since the completion of the recovery strategy. Ausable River watershed.
ActivitiesRecovery objectives addressedFootnote aResultsFootnote bAgencies involvedFootnote bFunding sourcesFootnote bReferences
Habitat enhancement and protection programs in the Ausable River watershed (2005-2009; ongoing)v
  • These projects resulted in the protection or improvement of nearly 60 km2 of habitat or riparian zone and approximately 36 km of shoreline
  • Project examples include, agricultural equipment modification, livestock restriction from watercourses, and tree planting
  • Impacts of stewardship programs are being evaluated by the collection and monitoring of water quality and mussels
ABCA, DFOHSP + matching funds (e.g., OMNRFootnote c)n/a

 

Table 4 continued. Stewardship activities conducted/ongoing since the completion of the recovery strategy. Sydenham River watershed.
ActivitiesRecovery objectives addressedFootnote aResultsFootnote bAgencies involvedFootnote bFunding sourcesFootnote bReferences
Best management practices on watershed lands in Sydenham River watershed (2001-2010; ongoing)v
  • Best management practices on rural properties, including livestock restrictions, riparian buffers, streambank stabilization, wetland creation or enhancement, well decommissioning, septic upgrades, sediment control/trapping
  • The implementation of these best management practices have translated to over 2.9 km2 of habitat or riparian zone protected or improved, 55 km of shoreline restored, 14 wells decommissioned, 23 septic systems upgraded, nine manure storage facilities improved and 20 km of watercourse restricted from livestock access
DFO, Rural Lambton Stewardship Network (RLSN), SCRCADucks Unlimited Canada (DUC), HSP, SCRCA (in kind), private landownersn/a

 

Table 4 continued. Stewardship activities conducted/ongoing since the completion of the recovery strategy. Thames River watershed.
ActivitiesRecovery objectives addressedFootnote aResultsFootnote bAgencies involvedFootnote bFunding sourcesFootnote bReferences
Habitat Stewardship Programs in the upper Thames River watershed (2003-2009; ongoing)v
  • Water quality improvement through agricultural best management projects including milkhouse washwater system installation, livestock fencing and clean water diversion
  • Fish and benthos sampling has been undertaken to provide insight into the effectiveness of habitat improvement efforts
  • Water quality improvements have been noted in several portions of the watershed
UTRCAHSP + matching funds (e.g., OMNR)UTRCA (2010)

 

Table 4 continued. Stewardship activities conducted/ongoing since the completion of the recovery strategy. Grand River watershed.
ActivitiesRecovery objectives addressedFootnote aResultsFootnote bAgencies involvedFootnote bFunding sourcesFootnote bReferences
Habitat enhancement and protection programs in the Grand River watershed (2005-2010)v
  • Tree planting and the promotion of nutrient management plans
  • Improvement of water quality and increased riparian habitat
Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA)HSP + matching funds (e.g., OMNR)n/a

Footnotes

Footnote A

Refers to all relevant recovery objectives from the recovery strategy as stated within Section 2.1

Return to footnote a

Footnote B

A list of acronyms has been provided at the end of this report.

Return to footnote b

Footnote C

OMNR funding may have come from various OMNR sources, such as: Species at Risk Stewardship Fund, Species at Risk Research Fund, Aquatic Research and Development Section, Biodiversity Branch, Southern Region etc.

Return to footnote c

 

3.4 Awareness activities

Table 5. Awareness activities conducted/ongoing since the completion of the recovery strategy. (4-1) Increase public knowledge of stewardship options and financial assistance available to participate in activities. (4-3) Encourage public support and participation by developing awareness materials and programs.
ActivitiesRecovery objectives addressedFootnote aResultsFootnote bAgencies involvedFootnote bFunding sourcesFootnote bReferences
Increase awareness through public outreach in Ausable River watershed (2006-2011)vii
  • Multipronged promotion of HSP (e.g., article on HSP included in ABCA’s "Your Watershed" publication, display boards at community events, flyer distribution, public service announcements and press releases)
  • Annual meeting of Stewardship and Outreach Recovery Implementation Group to coordinate efforts and foster partnerships
  • Increase student awareness and engagement by delivering information regarding natural heritage, distribution, threats and recovery of mussel SAR
ABCAA Channel (in kind), ABCA (in kind) ABCF, Huron Stewardship Council (HSC), HSP, OMNRFootnote cn/a
Increase awareness through public outreach in Sydenham River watershed (2006-2011)vii
  • Annually, 65 000 landowners and community members are provided with the SAR newsletter
  • Community outreach through activities, such as media releases, public service announcement and the maintenance of the Sydenham River Watershed website
DFO, RLSN, SCRCAHSP, SCRCA (in kind)n/a
Increase awareness through public outreach in Thames River watershed (2006-2011)vii
  • Outreach on SAR using public service announcements on CFPL-TV was estimated to reach at least 855 000 viewers per week
  • Species-specific community education and awareness through multimedia presentations to schools, community groups, special interest groups, and at public events is estimated to have reached over 5000 individuals
  • The yearly Thames River Clean Up (approximately 2000 yearly participants) has harnessed public interest and support to remove garbage from up to 200 km of river shoreline each year
UTRCAHSP + matching funds (e.g., OMNR)n/a
Walpole Island Heritage Centre (WIHC) stewardship and outreachi, vii
  • Provided presentations on threats and protection measures to Walpole Island First Nation schools and gatherings on SAR (including KS, RHN) found in their area
  • Mussel identification workshop and local surveys were performed to help raise awareness
WIFNOMNRWIHC (2009 & 2010)

 

Table 5 continued. Awareness activities conducted/ongoing since the completion of the recovery strategy. (4-2) Increase public awareness of the potential impacts of transporting/releasing exotic species.
ActivitiesRecovery objectives addressedFootnote aResultsFootnote bAgencies involvedFootnote bFunding sourcesFootnote bReferences
Implementation of the Invasive Alien Species Strategy (ongoing)vii
  • Dissemination of aquatic invasive species information through the Watercraft Inspection Program
  • Distribution of aquatic invasive species educational information through public postings and direct engagement
DFODFOn/a
Implementation of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) trainingvii
  • Licensed commercial baitfish harvesters in Ontario have completed HACCP training, which focuses on impacts and prevention of the spread of aquatic invasive species
  • As of 2006, baitfish licence holders must prepare a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan to address the threat of invasive species associated with their operations
Bait Association of Ontario (BAO), Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH), OMNROMNRn/a

 

Table 5 continued. Awareness activities conducted/ongoing since the completion of the recovery strategy. Other Activities:
ActivitiesRecovery objectives addressedFootnote aResultsFootnote bAgencies involvedFootnote bFunding sourcesFootnote bReferences
Conference presentations (2007-2011)vii
  • Presentations delivered at multiple conferences (e.g., American Society of Limnology (ASLO), North American Benthological Society (NABS), Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society (FMCS), Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), Aquatic Toxicity Workshop (ATW)), which forged connections with the academic community, including graduate students
n/aDFO, EC, NSERC, OMNR, WWFSee list of Conference Presentations at the end of this document
Presentations to naturalist groups, schools, etc.vii
  • Presentations delivered to multiple groups (e.g., Niagara restoration council, Halton Peel Naturalists, Nature London, Our Lady of Fatima Elementary School)
DFODFOSee list of Conference Presentations at the end of this document

Footnotes

Footnote A

Refers to all relevant recovery objectives from the recovery strategy as stated within Section 2.1

Return to footnote a

Footnote B

A list of acronyms has been provided at the end of this report.

Return to footnote b

Footnote C

OMNR funding may have come from various OMNR sources, such as: Species at Risk Stewardship Fund, Species at Risk Research Fund, Aquatic Research and Development Section, Biodiversity Branch, Southern Region etc.

Return to footnote c

 

3.5 Summary of progress towards recovery

To summarize progress towards recovery, implementation of the short-term recovery objectives have been assessed as follows:

  1. Determine extent, abundance and population demographics of existing populations.

    Recent surveys have updated the known distribution of the Kidneyshell, adding the upper Thames River (Medway Creek) to the previously stated distribution of the Sydenham and Ausable rivers, with a few specimens scattered in the St. Clair River delta. The population estimate for Kidneyshell in the Ausable River has also been updated (Baitz et al. 2008) and, as of 2006, comprised approximately 4% of the overall mussel community at seven sites throughout the watershed. Further surveys have been performed in significant species at risk mussel habitat where these two species are thought to be extirpated, namely the Grand, Welland, and lower Thames rivers. Fresh Kidneyshell shells were discovered in the lower Thames River near Tate Corners in June 2011 (S. Staton, DFO, pers. comm. 2012), indicating that the species is likely still present at this location. With the exception of this record, Round Hickorynut and Kidneyshell were not encountered during these efforts.

  2. Determine fish hosts and their distributions and abundances.

    The work of the research group dedicated to Unionids at the University of Guelph (led by Drs. Ackerman and Mackie) has resulted in additional information pertaining to the host fishes of these two species in the laboratory. In addition to the Blackside Darter (Percina maculata), Fantail Darter (Etheostoma flabellare), and Johnny Darter (E. nigrum), the Iowa Darter (E. exile) and Brook Stickleback (Culaea inconstans) have been identified as host fishes for the Kidneyshell in Canada (McNichols 2007). Furthermore, the Round Goby, an exotic species, may serve as a fish host, albeit at a reduced level of effectiveness (McNichols et al. 2010).

    Host fishes for the Round Hickorynut in Canada have been identified as the Blackside Darter, Fantail Darter, and Iowa Darter (McNichols 2007). It now appears that the Greenside Darter (E. blennioides) is not a host fish as glochidia did not metamorphose during host identification experiments (McNichols 2007). Additional research is needed to identify primary hosts (i.e., high infestation and metamorphosis rates for glochidia and juvenile Round Hickorynut and Kidneyshell) and marginal hosts (i.e., low rates), as well as to confirm functional hosts (e.g., distributional overlap between species, availability and density). In addition, there may be other species that act as hosts for these two species at risk that have yet to be examined in Canada. For example, the Eastern Sand Darter (Ammocrypta pellucida), a threatened species in Canada, has been suggested as a possible host for Round Hickorynut (COSEWIC 2003); however, this has not been tested in the laboratory.

    Numerous fish surveys, both targeted and otherwise, have been performed in the Ausable, Thames, and Sydenham rivers. This information is being compiled and assessed to allow for a clearer understanding of population characteristics and ranges for known host fishes for the Round Hickorynut and Kidneyshell.

  3. Define key habitat requirements to identify critical habitat.

    The recovery strategy for the Round Hickorynut and the Kidneyshell in Canada is currently being updated to include a partial identification of critical habitat for both species (DFO 2012). The approach and the methods used to identify reaches of critical habitat will be consistent with the approaches recommended by DFO (2011) for freshwater mussels.

    Using the best available information, critical habitat will be identified for Round Hickorynut and Kidneyshell populations in the following areas:

    1. East Sydenham River (Round Hickorynut and Kidneyshell)
    2. Ausable River (Kidneyshell)
    3. Medway Creek (Kidneyshell)

    The areas to be identified may be insufficient to achieve the recovery objectives for the species. As such, the schedule of studies in the revised recovery strategy will be updated to further refine the description of critical habitat (in terms of its biophysical functions/features/attributes as well as its spatial extent) to support its protection.

  4. Establish a long-term monitoring program for Round Hickorynut and Kidneyshell populations, their hosts and the habitat of both.

    To meet this objective, monitoring stations have been established and baseline data collected in the Ausable River (seven stations), Sydenham River (15), Thames River (six), and Grand River (seven) (Metcalfe-Smith et al. 2007b, Baitz et al. 2008, T. Morris, DFO, unpubl. data). Additionally, nine stations have been established in the St. Clair River delta (Metcalfe-Smith et al. 2007a). These monitoring programs include provisions for mussel and host fish(es) habitat monitoring.

  5. Identify threats, evaluate their relative importance and implement remedial actions to minimize their impacts.

    Various aspects of chemical contamination have been investigated. It is now thought that the glochidial stage is the most vulnerable and specialized life-stage, because it is during this stage that the species must successfully attach to an appropriate host to complete their metamorphosis to the juvenile stage and that they are most sensitive to contaminant exposure (Gillis et al. 2008, 2010, Gillis 2011).

    Threats from exotic species, such as the Round Goby, have also been identified (Poos et al. 2010); a graduate student is currently studying the potential impacts of Round Goby on mussel species at risk. In the Thames River, dreissenid mussels can now be found from Fanshawe Reservoir downstream to Thamesville (UTRCA 2012). In the lower Thames River near Big Bend, Zebra Mussel have been found attached to adult unionids (Morris and Edwards 2007).

    Additional research conducted on quantifying sediment and nutrient inputs from agricultural drainage systems and point sources has informed recommendations for more effective strategies for reduction of loading to rivers (e.g., Ball Coelho et al. 2010).

  6. Examine the feasibility of relocations, reintroductions and the establishment of managed refuge sites.

    Methods have been developed for artificial propagation of mussel species in the laboratory and the field, and continued efforts are expected to refine and improve current approaches. The feasibility of relocations and reintroductions of mussel species has been partially addressed by investigations into the genetic and environmental implications of these approaches (Hoftyzer et al. 2008). Additionally, a mussel relocation protocol has been developed by Mackie et al. (2008) and is currently being implemented when development projects require that mussels be moved to prevent harm from habitat alterations.

    Efforts to expand our understanding of the genetic structure of mussel populations has been advanced with studies on genetic parentage analyses of glochidia, and genetic diversity within and among mussel populations, driven by genetic marker development and optimization (McNichols et al. 2010). An investigation into the feasibility of establishing actively managed refuge sites in the St. Clair River delta still needs to be addressed; collaborative efforts with the Walpole Island First Nation are planned to determine the effectiveness of managed refuge sites.

  7. Increase awareness about the distribution, threats and recovery of these species.

    Outreach programs have been successful in reaching the public at large (e.g., naturalist clubs, farming communities, schoolchildren). The Stewardship and Outreach Recovery Implementation Group (Sydenham River Recovery Team) has held annual meetings to engage landowners on stewardship programs. A further emphasis on presenting research findings at conferences has increased awareness of the plight of mussel species at risk, highlighted key knowledge gaps and fostered valuable collaborative efforts.


Action plans: DFO, in partnership with the Sydenham River Recovery Team, has developed a proposed multi-species, ecosystem-based action plan for the Sydenham River to be completed in 2012. This action plan will include several species at risk mussels, including the Round Hickorynut and Kidneyshell.


4. Recommendations

The long-term goals of preventing extirpation, maintaining or returning self-sustaining populations and re-establishing populations to historical sites are still valid. As a result of the five-year accumulation of knowledge regarding the Round Hickorynut and Kidneyshell, the recovery strategy will be updated to include a partial identification of critical habitat for both species, as well as slightly revised recovery goals (based on new distribution data).

The following discoveries or changes may be deemed important in redirecting recovery approaches:

  • An upstream invasion of the Round Goby in the Ausable, Sydenham, and Thames rivers is in progress (Poos et al. 2010), furthering concern of impacts on host fish species. The impacts of Round Goby on mussel species at risk is currently being investigated by a graduate student at the University of Guelph. An expansion of dreissenid mussels into unionid mussel habitat has also been detected.
  • The glochidium of a species at risk mussel has been demonstrated to be acutely sensitive to sodium chloride, which is used as a road de-icing agent in winter (Gillis 2011). This is a relevant finding as the Round Hickorynut and Kidneyshell reside in Canada’s most road-dense region where chloride levels have been increasing over time.
  • Additional host fishes for both mussel species have been identified in the laboratory and should be confirmed in the field (to verify which fish[es] are ‘functional’ hosts).
  • A relict population of the Kidneyshell has been discovered in the Thames River basin (Medway Creek), an area heavily impacted by agricultural activities and residential development.
  • Fresh Kidneyshell shells have been discovered in the lower Thames River near Tate Corners, suggesting that the species is extant in the lower Thames River.
  • The St. Clair River delta populations of both species now appear functionally extirpated.
  • A projected decrease in water quantity, resulting from climate change and changing water use patterns, may result in severe reductions in mussel and fish richness (Spooner et al. 2011).
  • Further protection to Ontario’s source water was enacted in 2006 via the Clean Water Act and is supported by local committees that list existing and potential threats and implement actions that will reduce or eliminate these threats (Ontario Ministry of the Environment (OMOE) 2012).
  • The Round Hickorynut and Kidneyshell are both listed as Endangered under the Endangered Species Act, 2007, which came into force in 2007. Under the Act, individuals of both species are protected and their habitat will be protected under the general habitat protection provisions as of June 30, 2013, unless a species-specific habitat regulation is developed by the provincial government at an earlier date.


5. References

Baitz, A., M. Veliz, H. Brock, and S. Staton. 2008. Monitoring program to track the recovery of endangered freshwater mussels in the Ausable River, Ontario [DRAFT]. Prepared for the Ausable River Recovery Team, the Interdepartmental Recovery Fund and Fisheries and Oceans Canada. 26 pp.

Ball Coelho, B.B., A.J. Bruin, S. Staton, and D. Hayman. 2010. Sediment and nutrient contributions from subsurface drains and point sources to an agricultural watershed. Air, Soil and Water Research 3: 1-21.

COSEWIC (Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada). 2003. COSEWIC assessment and update status on the round hickorynut Obovaria subrotunda in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Ottawa. vi + 31 pp.

DFO (Fisheries and Oceans Canada). 2011. Assessment of methods for the identification of critical habitat for freshwater mussels. DFO Canadian Science Advisory Secretarial Science Advisory Report 2011/047.

DFO (Fisheries and Oceans Canada). 2012. Recovery strategy for the Round Hickorynut (Obovaria subrotunda) and Kidneyshell (Ptychobranchus fasciolaris) in Canada [Proposed]. In Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Series. Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa. 74 pp.

Gillis, P.L. In Review. Impacts of urban runoff and municipal waste water effluents on the health of the freshwater mussel, Lasmigona costata. In Review (Feb. 2012): Science of the Total Environment.

Gillis P.L. 2011. Assessing the toxicity of sodium chloride to the glochidia of freshwater mussels: implications for salinization of surface waters. Environmental Pollution 159: 1702-1708.

Gillis, P.L. J.C. McGeer, G.L. Mackie, M.P. Wilkie, and J.D. Ackerman. 2010. The effect of natural dissolved organic carbon on the acute toxicity of copper to larval freshwater mussels (glochidia). Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 29: 2519–2528.

Gillis, P.L., R.J Mitchell, A.N. Schwalb, K.A. McNichols, G.L. Mackie, C.M. Wood, and J.D. Ackerman. 2008. Sensitivity of glochidia (larvae) of freshwater mussel to copper: assessing the effect of water hardness and dissolved organic carbon on the sensitivity of endangered species. Aquatic Toxicology 88: 137-145.

Hoftyzer, E., J.D. Ackerman, T.J. Morris, and G.L. Mackie. 2008. Genetic and environmental implications of reintroducing laboratory-raised unionid mussels to the wild. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 65: 1217-1229.

Mackie, G., T.J. Morris, and D. Ming. 2008. Protocol for the detection and relocation of freshwater mussel species at risk in Ontario-Great Lakes Area (OGLA). Canadian Manuscript Report of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 2790: vi + 50 pp.

McNichols, K.A. 2007. Implementing recovery strategies for mussel species at risk in Ontario. M.Sc. Thesis, University of Guelph. 171 pp.

McNichols, K.A., H. Galbraith, C.C. Wilson, D. Zanatta, and J.D. Ackerman. 2010. Investigating research gaps for the recovery of Unionid mussel species at risk in Canada. 2008/09 Final Report (Project # 142), Species at Risk Fund for Ontario.

McNichols, K.A., G.L. Mackie, and J.D. Ackerman. 2011. Host fish quality may explain the status of endangered Epioblasma torulosa rangiana and Lampsilis fasciola (Bivalvia: Unionidae) in Canada. Journal of the North American Benthological Society30: 60-70.

Metcalfe-Smith, J., A. MacKenzie, I. Carmichael, and D. McGoldrick. 2005. Photo field guide to the freshwater mussels of Ontario. St. Thomas Field Naturalist Club Incorporated, St. Thomas, ON. 60 pp.

Metcalfe-Smith, J.L., D.J. McGoldrick, C.R. Jacobs, J. Biberhofer, M.T. Arts, G.L. Mackie, V.S. Jackson, D.S. Schloesser, T.J. Newton, E.M. Monroe, and M.D. Drebenstedt. 2007a. Creation of managed refuge sites for native freshwater mussels to mitigate impacts of the exotic zebra mussel in the delta area of Lake St. Clair. Environment Canada, Water Science and Technology Directorate, Burlington, Ontario, WSTD Contribution No. 07-023.

Metcalfe-Smith, J.L, D.J. McGoldrick, D.T. Zanatta, and L.C. Grapentine. 2007b. Development of a monitoring program for tracking the recovery of endangered freshwater mussels in the Sydenham River, Ontario. Prepared for the Sydenham River Recovery Team, the Interdepartmental Recovery Fund and Fisheries and Oceans Canada. 61 pp.

Morris, T.J. 2006. Recovery strategy for the Round Hickorynut (Obovaria subrotunda) and Kidneyshell (Ptychobranchus fasciolaris) in Canada. Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Series. Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa. 47 pp.

Morris T.J. and A. Edwards. 2007. Freshwater mussel communities of the Thames River, Ontario: 2004-2005. Canadian Manuscript Report of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 2810: v + 30 pp.

Morris, T.J. and K.A. McNichols-O'Rourke. In Prep. Freshwater mussel quadrat surveys in southwestern, Ontario. In prep, Canadian Manuscript Report of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.

Morris, T.J., K.A. McNichols-O’Rourke, and A. Robinson. 2012a. A preliminary survey of the freshwater mussels of the Bayfield River watershed and nearby Lake Huron tributaries. Canadian Manuscript Report of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 2993: v + 26 pp.

Morris, T.J., K.A. McNichols-O’Rourke, and A. Robinson. 2012b. A preliminary survey of the freshwater mussels of the Welland River watershed in 2008. Canadian Manuscript Report of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 2991: iv + 12 pp.

OMOE (Ontario Ministry of the Environment). 2012. Great Lakes Protection Legislation [web application]. [Accessed: January 2012].

Poos, M.A., A.J. Dextrase, A.N. Schwalb, and J.D. Ackerman. 2010. Secondary invasion of the Round Goby into high diversity Great Lakes tributaries and species at risk hotspots: potential new concerns for endangered freshwater species. Biological Invasions 12: 1269–1284.

Schwalb, A.N. 2009.Host infection strategies determine dispersal abilities in freshwater mussels (bivalvia: unionidae). PhD Thesis, University of Guelph. 175 pp.

Schwalb, A.N. and J.D. Ackerman. 2011. Settling velocities of juvenile Lampsilini mussels (Mollusca: Unionidae): the influence of behavior. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 30: 702-209.

Schwalb, A.N., K. Cottenie, M.S. Poos, and J.D. Ackerman. 2011. Dispersal limitation of unionid mussels and implications for their recovery. Freshwater Biology 56: 1509–1518.

Schwalb, A.N., T.J. Morris, and J.D. Ackerman. 2012. The effect of settling velocity on the transport of mussel larvae in a cobble-bed river: water column and near-bed turbulence. Limnology and Oceanography: Fluids and Environments 2: 1-14.

Schwalb, A.N., M.S. Poos, and J.D. Ackerman 2010. Movement of logperch - the obligate host fish for endangered snuffbox mussels: implications for mussel dispersal. Aquatic Sciences 73: 223–231.

Spooner, D., M. Xenopoulos, C. Schneider, and D. Woolnough. 2011. Coextirpation of host-affiliate relationships in rivers: the role of climate change, water withdrawal, and host-specificity. Global Change Biology 17: 1720-1732.

Upsdell, B.L., S.K. Staton, A.L. Edwards, and M. Veliz. 2010. An ecosystem approach to the identification of suitable habitat for aquatic species at risk in the Ausable River watershed [DRAFT]. DFO Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat Research Document 2010/nnn. vi + 36 pp.

Upsdell, B.L., M. Veliz, S. Staton, and K. Jean. 2011. Ausable River geomorphology and the distribution of freshwater mussel species at risk [DRAFT]. Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ontario. 18 pp.

UTRCA (Upper Thames River Conservation Authority). 2010. Habitat stewardship program for species at risk: assessment for the Upper Thames Conservation Authority 2003-2009. Prepared by the UTRCA, April 2010.

UTRCA (Upper Thames River Conservation Authority). 2012. (http://www.thamesriver.on.ca/invasive_species/Invasive_species.htm) Invasive Non-native Species (Accessed: March 2012).

Walpole Island Heritage Centre (WIHC). 2009. Walpole Island youth species at risk stewardship program pilot project. Final Report submitted to MNR Species at Risk Branch, Species at Risk Stewardship Fund.

Walpole Island Heritage Centre (WIHC). 2010. Final Report: Walpole Island Heritage Centre’s 2009-10 Ontario species at risk stewardship fund project. Final Report submitted to MNR Species at Risk Branch, Species at Risk Stewardship Fund.

Woolnough, D.A., K.A. McNichols, and J.D. Ackerman. 2007. Endangered Unionid mussels in Ontario: host fish, survival and movement. 2007/08 Final ESRF Report (ESR1350), Endangered Species Recovery Fund.


Conference Presentations

Gillis P.L. 2010. Examining the toxicity of road salt runoff to freshwater mussel larvae (glochidia). The 31st Annual Meeting of the North American Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), Portland, OR, Nov. 2010.

Gillis, P.L. 2011. The toxicity of salt to the freshwater mussel larvae: implications for salinization of surface waters. 2nd International Conference on Urban Drainage and Road Salt Management in Cold Climates: Advances in Best Practices. Waterloo, ON, April 2011.

Gillis, P.L., J.D. Ackerman, and G.L. Mackie. 2007. The effect of water chemistry on the sensitivity of the early life stage of freshwater mussels to waterborne copper exposure. 30th SIL Congress, August 2007 Montreal, PQ.

Gillis, P.L., G.L. Mackie, and J.D. Ackerman. 2007. The effect of water composition on copper sensitivity in glochidia: expanding the Biotic Ligand Model to include the sensitive larvae of freshwater mussels. 28th SETAC North America, Milwaukee, Nov, 2007.

Gillis P.L., G.L. Mackie, and J.D. Ackerman. 2008. Copper sensitivity in glochidia: assessing the effect of water composition on the sensitive larvae of freshwater mussels. Biotic Ligand Model Workshop, Waterloo, ON, May 2008.

Gillis P.L., G.L. Mackie, and J.D. Ackerman. 2009. Chloride sensitivity of freshwater mussels: assessing the toxicity of road salt to glochidia (larvae). The 30th Annual Meeting of the North American SETAC, New Orleans, LO, Nov. 2009.

Gillis, P.L., G.L. Mackie, and J.D. Ackerman. 2009. The toxicity of road salt and copper to glochidia, assessing waterborne contaminants as potential threats to the recovery of endangered freshwater mussels. 57th Annual Meeting of North American Benthological Society, Grand Rapids, MI, May, 2009.

Gillis P.L., R. McInnis, T. Hooey, and S. Higgins. 2011. Impact of urban runoff and municipal wastewater effluents on wild freshwater mussels. The 38th Aquatic Toxicity Workshop, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Oct. 2011.

Gillis P.L., K.A. McNichols, G.L. Mackie, and J.D. Ackerman. 2008. Assessing the sensitivity of freshwater mussel larvae (glochidia) to chloride salts. The 35th Aquatic Toxicology Workshop, Saskatoon, SK, Oct. 2008.

Gillis, P.L., A.N. Schwalb, R.M. Mitchell, K.A. McNichols, G.L. Mackie, and J.D. Ackerman. 2006. The effect of water composition on the acute toxicity of copper to glochidia of freshwater mussels. Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) North American Annual Meeting, November 2006. Montreal, PQ.

Jorge M.B., V.L. Loro, A. Bianchini, C.M. Wood, and P.L. Gillis. 2012. Relationship between exposure duration, mortality, bioaccumulation and physiological parameters in glochidia (larvae) and juvenile freshwater mussels exposed to copper. SETAC Europe 22nd Annual Meeting, Berlin, Germany, May 2012.

Jorge M.B., C.M. Wood, A. Bianchini, and P.L. Gillis. 2011. Copper toxicity to glochidia larvae (Lampsilis cardium): accumulation and effects. The 20th Annual Comparative Physiology Workshop, Rice Lake, ON, Feb. 2011.

McNichols, K.A., J.D. Ackerman, and G.L. Mackie. 2008. Population dynamics of endangered species of freshwater mussels in the Sydenham River in Ontario. Ontario Ecology & Ethology Colloquium. April 2008. Guelph, ON.

McNichols, K.A., G.L. Mackie, and J.D. Ackerman. 2007. Host fish determination of endangered species of freshwater mussels in southern Ontario, Canada. Freshwater Mussel Conservation Society 2007 Symposium, March 2007. Little Rock, AR.

McNichols, K.A., G.L. Mackie, and J.D. Ackerman. 2009. Assisting in recovery efforts for mussel species at risk in Canada. International Symposium of the Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society, April 19-24, 2009 Baltimore MD.

Morris, T.J. 2007. Ontario’s freshwater mussels: a vanishing treasure. Invited speaker at Ontario Nature annual conference, Peterborough, ON, June 2007.

Morris, T.J. 2009. Seasonal population dynamics of Lampsilis fasciola in two southern Ontario streams. Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society Symposium, Baltimore Maryland, April 2009.

Morris, T.J. and M. Granados. 2007. Relationship between the federally endangered Wavyrayed Lampmussel and its host, smallmouth bass, in the Grand River, Ontario. Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society Symposium, Little Rock Arkansas, March 2007.

Morris, T.J., N.E. Mandrak, and B. Cudmore. 2007. Threats to species at risk in large lakes: a Canadian perspective. SIL 2007, Montreal, PQ. August 2007.

Morris, T.J., K. Marjerrison, C. Rosairus, and M. Granados. 2007. Investigating the relationship between smallmouth bass and the federally endangered Wavyrayed Lampmussel. SIL 2007, Montreal, PQ. August 2007.

Morris, T.J., J.L. Metcalfe-Smith, and D. McGoldrick. 2007. The conservation and protection of freshwater mussels: a Canadian perspective. SIL 2007, Montreal, PQ. August 2007.

Morris, T.J., J.L. Metcalfe-Smith, and S.K. Staton. 2006. Development and implementation of a long-term monitoring program for freshwater mussel species at risk in Ontario. 67th Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference. Omaha, Nebraska, Dec 4-6 2006.

Morris, T.J., V. Mink-Martin, A. Robinson, and I. Sagan. 2011. Daily, seasonal and annual patterns of unionid burrowing behaviour with emphasis on species at risk. Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society Symposium. Louisville Kentucky, April 2011.

Morris. T.J., J.A.M. Young, and M.A. Koops. 2011. Using life history to predict the sensitivity of freshwater mussel populations to human induced perturbations. Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society Symposium. Louisville Kentucky, April 2011.

Morris, T.J. and D. Zanatta. 2009. A decade of change: recovery of the Endangered Wavyrayed Lampmussel (Lampsilis fasciola) in Canada? North American benthological Society Symposium, Grand rapids Michigan, May 2009.

Roy J.W., P.L. Gillis, R. McInnis, and G. Bickerton. 2011. Risk to benthic organisms, such as the freshwater mussel Lampsilis siloqueodea from groundwater contaminated with road salt and discharging to an urban stream. Geological Society of America Annual Meeting & Exposition, Minneapolis, MI, Oct. 2011. Geological Society of America.

Schwalb, A.N. and J.D. Ackerman. 2009. Hitching a ride and going with the flow – dispersal of unionid mussels (Bivalvia: Unionidiae). 57th Annual Meeting of North American Benthological Society, Grand Rapids, MI, May, 2009.

Schwalb, A.N. and J.D. Ackerman. 2010. Early life history traits in Lampsilini-mussels in relation to their host infection strategy. Aquatic Sciences Meeting (American Society of Limnology (ASLO)-North American Benthological Society (NABS)). Santa Fe, NM, June, 2010.

Schwalb, A.N., M. Garvie, and J.D. Ackerman. 2008. Freshwater mussel larval dispersal in rivers – a transport model and its empirical evaluation in the field. Ontario Ecology & Ethology Colloquium. April 2008. Guelph, ON.

Schwalb, A.N., M. Poos, and J.D. Ackerman. 2008. Can a bad hitchhiking choice slow you down? Limitations to the dispersal of the endangered Snuffbox mussel (Epioblasma triquetra). 56th Annual Meeting of North American Benthological Society, Salt Lake City, May, 2008.

Tremblay, M., T.J. Morris, and J.D. Ackerman. 2011. The round goby, Neogobius melanostomus, as a host for unionid species at risk. 7th Biennial Syposium of the Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society, Louisville, KY, April 2011.


Group Presentations

Morris, T.J. 2008. Freshwater mussels of Niagara Region. Invited Speaker. Niagara Restoration Council Annual meeting. October 2008.

Morris, T.J. 2009. Towards the recovery of Canada’s freshwater mussels: population and life history characters of the Endangered Wavyrayed Lampmussel. Invited Speaker, University of Guelph, Loaves and Fishes Seminar Series. February 2009.

Morris. T.J. 2009. Protecting and preserving Ontario’s freshwater mussels: more than just a shell game. Invited Speaker, Niagara College. March 2009.

Morris, T.J. 2009. An introduction to Ontario’s freshwater mussels. COSEWIC Mollusc Species Specialist Subcommittee(SSC) annual meeting. September 2009.

Morris, T.J. 2009. Ontario’s Freshwater Mussels: A vanishing treasure. Invited Speaker, Peninsula Naturalists Annual General Meeting. November 2009.

Morris, T.J. 2010. Ontario’s freshwater mussels: a vanishing treasure. Invited Speaker, Halton Peel Naturalists Annual General Meeting. February 2010.

Morris, T.J. 2010. Introduction to pondlife. Building Blocks Nursery School. May 2010.

Morris T.J. 2011. Species at risk and aquatic invasive species. Our Lady of Fatima Elementary School. Invited presentation to primary grades. May 2011.

Morris T.J. 2011. Freshwater mussels of the Thames River: an historical perspective. Invited presentation to Nature London, London, ON. October 2011.

Morris T.J. 2011. Freshwater mussels of the Southern Ontario Stream Monitoring and Research Team (SOSMART) area. Invited presentation to SOSMART working group. Toronto, ON. December 2011.


Acronyms

AAFC
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

ABCA
Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority

ABCF
Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation

ATW
Aquatic Toxicity Workshop

BAO
Bait Association of Ontario

CCME
Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment

CDA
Copper Development Agency

CMU
Central Michigan University

COSEWIC
Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada

CRC
Canadian Research Chair

CWF
Canadian Wildlife Federation

CWN
Canadian Water Network

DFO
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

DUC
Ducks Unlimited Canada

EC
Environment Canada

ERCA
Essex Region Conservation Authority

GRCA
Grand River Conservation Authority

HSC
Huron Stewardship Council

HSP
Habitat Stewardship Program

IDRC
International Development Research Centre

IRF
Interdepartmental Recovery Fund

KS
Kidneyshell

LU
Lakehead University

NHIC
Natural Heritage Information Centre

NSERC
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council

OFAH
Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters

OGS
Ontario Graduate Scholarship

OMNR
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources

OMOE
Ontario Ministry of the Environment

RHN
Round Hickorynut

RLSN
Rural Lambton Stewardship Network

ROM
Royal Ontario Museum

SAR
Species at Risk

SARRFO
Species at Risk Research Fund for Ontario

SCRCA
St. Clair Region Conservation Authority

SCRCF
St. Clair Region Conservation Foundation

SETAC
Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry

STFN
St. Thomas Field Naturalists

TTLT
Thames Talbot Land Trust

U of A
University of Alberta

U of G
University of Guelph

U of O
University of Ottawa

U of T
University of Toronto

U of W
University of Waterloo

UNB
University of New Brunswick

UTRCA
Upper Thames River Conservation Authority

WIFN
Walpole Island First Nation

WIHC
Walpole Island Heritage Centre

WWF
World Wildlife Fund

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