Notice of permit

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Regional or Local Number: 19-PCAA-00051

Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the provisions of section 73 of the Species at Risk Act permit no. 19-PCAA-00051 is issued.

Activity necessary or beneficial to the species

The objective of the activities covered by the permit are to conduct species at risk mussel surveys and habitat assessments at established long-term index stations in the Ausable River watershed to track changes in species and habitat over time, and evaluate recovery efforts. The species listed on the permit may be captured during the course of the work. The activities authorized by the permit consist of: 1. The capture of all mussel species listed on the permit, via quadrat sampling, from index stations on the Ausable River. Substrates in 1 m x 1 m quadrats will be excavated by hand; 2. The handling of the species listed on this permit for the purposes of identification (count, measure, photograph, etc.). All mussels will be released alive after processing to the locations they were found; and, 3. The possession and transport of dead specimens/shells/valves of any of the species listed on this permit killed incidentally or found during the course of the sampling.

Start Date: 2019-07-30   End Date: 2019-10-31

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 quadrat survey method to be used for the mussel surveys was developed by Environment and Climate Change Canada and has been used to sample sites in the Ausable River and the Sydenham River. This method has been chosen over another commonly-used method (timed search) because, while neither method significantly impacts mussel species at risk, the quadrat method provides more comprehensive information. This sampling protocol has been used for a number of years now and any alteration to this protocol would compromise the integrity of the program and disrupt the time-series dataset. b) Measures to minimize impact: All mussels collected will be placed in a flow-through bin or basin of river water until they are identified and measured. The mussels and excavated substrate will be returned to the 1 m x 1 m quadrat in which they were found. Mussel health will be monitored in the flow through bins to ensure health and survival before being placed back at the point of capture. c) Effects on survival and recovery: Mussels will not be significantly impacted as they will be released alive immediately after processing (identification, measure, photograph, etc.). The streambed will be excavated by hand and all material will be replaced in the quadrat at the conclusion of sampling. This activity is not expected to have a significant impact on the species’ habitat. The activities of the project will not jeopardize the survival or recovery of species at risk mussels. It is anticipated that the project will result in no mortality of species at risk during sampling. 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. This project is consistent with actions identified in provincial and federal recovery strategies for the project’s targeted species at risk, as well as the Ausable River Action Plan. This project would help to achieve recommended actions that will benefit species at risk populations.

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

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