Notice of permit

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Regional or Local Number: 19-PCAA-00008

Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the provisions of section 73 of the Species at Risk Act permit no. 19-PCAA-00008 is issued.

Scientific research for the conservation of the species

The objectives of the activities covered by this permit are: 1) To conduct quantitative and semi-quantitative surveys for species at risk mussels at sites at locations across southern Ontario to track changes in species and habitat over time, and evaluate recovery efforts; 2) To hold a mussel identification workshop in late June over a two-day period. The second day will be spent at a site on the Sydenham River where attendees will practice field identification skills under guidance of experienced malacologists; 3) Depending on species detected during qualitative and semi-quantitative sampling, to obtain genetic samples for further analyses, and to evaluate reproductive condition of animals found; 4) To conduct a morphometric analyses on animals collected during quantitative and/or semi-quantitative sampling; and, 5) To tag some individuals when necessary for future identification. These activities will involve the capture of all mussel species listed on the permit, via quadrat sampling or timed searches, from sites listed on the permit. For quantitative sampling, substrates in 1 m x 1 m quadrats will be excavated by hand. For all sampling, any mussels found will be identified and processed (count, measure, morphometric analyses, tagging, obtaining genetic samples, etc.). All mussels will be returned alive to the locations they were found after processing.

Start Date: 2019-04-29   End Date: 2019-12-31

Issuing Authority: Department of Fisheries and Oceans

Authority Used:

  • Species at Risk Act

Location of Activity (province, territory or ocean):

  • Ontario

Affected Species:

a) Alternatives: The activities proposed are part of a scientific research program developed and carried out by qualified individuals in an effort to protect and preserve these species. Efforts are directed at the target species and cannot be relocated or re-timed to avoid impacts. All methods invoked during this study are supported by the Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society as reproduced in “A guide to sampling freshwater mussel populations” (D.L. Strayer and D.R. Smith, American Fisheries Society, June 2003). These methods have been developed through this international organisation to be specifically applied to endangered and threatened populations. Sampling and handling procedures follow Mackie et al. (2008). No other methods for sexing live specimens exist b) Measures to minimize impact: All identifications will be conducted using only external shell characteristics. Although identifications using internal characteristics can provide a more rapid assessment in some cases, these methods are destructive, resulting in the death of all individuals. No destructive sampling methods will be employed during this study. Furthermore, all individuals will be returned to the substrate in as close a position as possible to the location where they were collected. Habitat disturbance will be minimized by careful and deliberate movement throughout the site. All work will be conducted by qualified individuals. For genetic sampling, a maximum of 30 individual samples/species will be taken from any one site. Methods for non-destructive mantle swabs will follow Henley et al. (2006) (Journal of Shellfish Research, Vol. 25, No. 3, 975–977). c) Effects on survival and recovery: The surveys will have some minimal habitat disturbance from moving through the sites and the quadrat excavations. These are small areas that will be disturbed for a short period of time. Genetic sampling will result in foot retraction, valve closure, and minor tissue damage if mantle snips are required. There is a very small chance of mortality (<1%). The effects of obtaining genetic samples are minimal. Recovery is very quick and mussels re-burrow within minutes of release. No mortalities are anticipated. Provided the mitigation contained in the description of activities and the permit issued under section 73 of the Species at Risk Act, the project will pose a low risk to the survival and recovery of the species. The proposed activities will not jeopardize survival or recovery of mussel species at risk, as individual effects (growth, mortality, impairment of reproduction) will be negligible. Habitat effects will likewise be minimal or negligible. However, information gained through this study will be critical to better understand, protect, and recover these species.

Contact Person(s)
Ms. Becky Cudmore
A/Regional Manager, Species at Risk Program
Canada Centre for Inland Waters
867 Lakeshore Road
Burlington, ON
L7S 1A1

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