Notice of permit

Regional or Local Number: 19-PCAA-00041

Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the provisions of section 73 of the Species at Risk Act permit no. 19-PCAA-00041 is issued.

Purpose:
Activity necessary or beneficial to the species

Description:
The objective of the activities covered by the permit are to conduct habitat assessments and survey for species at risk mussels in areas where in-water works are proposed at various locations across Ontario. The species listed on the permit may be captured incidentally during the course of this work. The activities authorized by the permit include: 1. The capture of the species listed on the permit via visual search using viewing boxes and raccooning, from various waterbodies throughout Ontario; 2. The handling of the species listed on the permit for the purposes of identification and photographing; and, 3. The possession and transport of dead specimens/shells/valves of any of the species listed on the permit found during the course of the sampling.

Start Date: 2019-06-17   End Date: 2023-12-31

Issuing Authority: Department of Fisheries and Oceans

Authority Used:

  • Species at Risk Act

Location of Activity (province, territory or ocean):

  • Ontario

Affected Species:

Pre-Conditions:
a) Alternatives: Other locations were considered, but the proposed in-water activities will dictate where habitat is assessed. The objective of the habitat assessment is to determine where the mussels are and/or if the habitat is suitable for SAR. Avoiding the species will result in potential loss of protection. Quadrat sampling is an alternative sampling method, but requires a much greater time commitment and additional resources. Other timelines were not an option, as the proposed activities will dictate when these areas need to be assessed for the presence of species at risk. b) Measures to minimize impact: Identifying mussels using internal characteristics can provide more rapid assessments in some cases, but these methods are destructive, resulting in the death of all individuals. This was rejected in favour of visual identification and photo vouchers, which are non-lethal ways to determine species. Handling will follow the methods identified in the “Protocol for the detection and relocation of freshwater mussel species at risk in the Ontario Great Lakes Area” (Can. Manuscr. Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 2790) and be kept to a minimum. 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 personnel are highly qualified (more than 15 years experience) in handling mussel species. c) Effects on survival and recovery: The effect of handling will be negligible, as only a small portion of the population is expected to be affected, and sampling will be non-lethal. There will be some minor, temporary habitat disturbance as a result of wading through the habitat. The effects of this on the populations will be insignificant. No mortalities are anticipated. The proposed activities are aimed at protecting mussels and their habitat from in-water works, and have been designed to use minimally intrusive techniques to gather essential information to promote and enhance the recovery of these species. They are being carried out by highly qualified individuals for the sole purpose of protecting these species. Provided the mitigation contained in the measures to minimize impact and the permit issued under section 73 of the Species at Risk Act, the project will pose a low risk and will not jeopardize the survival or recovery of these species.

Contact Person(s)
Melanie Toyne
Regional Manager, Species at Risk Program
Freshwater Institute, Ontario and Prairie Region, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
501 University Crescent
Winnipeg, MB
R3T 2N6
fwisar@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

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