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Monday, April 16 • 1:40pm - 2:00pm
SYMPOSIA-02: A New Freshwater Mussel Collaborative in the Northeast

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AUTHORS: Shane Hanlon, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, North Attleboro National Fish Hatchery; David Perkins, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Richard Cronin Aquatic Resource Center; Peter Hazelton, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife, Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program; Allison Roy, U.S. Geological Survey, Massachusetts Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Department of Environmental Conservation, University of Massachusetts

ABSTRACT. A new partnership has begun in Massachusetts that is seeking to advance conservation of freshwater mussels across northeast states through cooperative research and management. This effort began as a collaborative between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, the Massachusetts Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. We are currently developing propagation and grow-out culture techniques for federally-listed (Alasmidonta heterodon, dwarf wedgemussel) and state-listed (A. varicosa, brook floater; Lampsilis cariosa, yellow lampmussel) species, along with common species (L. radiata, Eastern lampmussel; Anodonta implicata, alewife floater). Graduate and undergraduate students are engaged in mussel propagation efforts at the newly transformed Richard Cronin Aquatic Resource Center (formerly a National salmon station) and the North Attleboro National Fish Hatchery, including host fish trials and studies of the effects of calcium and bacteria/probiotic supplementation on juvenile growth and survival. These facilities also offer a valuable option for holding mussels in refugia during salvage operations. In addition, we have field projects assessing the status of wild populations and examining habitat associations. Since starting this collaborative in 2015, partners have expanded to include non-profit organizations such as the Connecticut River Watershed Council and The Nature Conservancy, as well as private industry which has provided mitigation funds to the collaborative for mussel conservation work. Opportunities for future expansion are promising, as exemplified by the recently funded range-wide conservation initiative for A. varicosa and the progress of mussel propagation at U.S. Fish and Wildlife facilities in the northeast.

Monday April 16, 2018 1:40pm - 2:00pm EDT
Vermont B

Attendees (6)