Species Profile

Salamander Mussel

Scientific Name: Simpsonaias ambigua
Other/Previous Names: Mudpuppy Mussel ,Simpsonais ambigua
Taxonomy Group: Molluscs
COSEWIC Range: Ontario
COSEWIC Assessment Date and Status Change: May 2011
COSEWIC Status: Endangered
COSEWIC Status Criteria: B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii)
COSEWIC Reason for Designation:

This freshwater mussel was reported from two rivers in southern Ontario in 1998. Surveys since the original COSEWIC assessment (2001) have found live individuals still along the Sydenham River. Despite extensive additional sampling, the half-shell found in 1998 is the only evidence of this species along the Thames River. Habitat quality continues to decline from intense agriculture, urban development, and pollution from point and non-point sources. In addition, this mussel only uses the Mudpuppy, a salamander, as its host; threats to the salamander are also threats to the mussel.
COSEWIC History of Status Designation: Designated Endangered in May 2001. Status re-examined and confirmed in May 2011.
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Endangered
Date of Listing (yyyy-mm-dd): 2003-06-05

Please note that this information is provided for general information purposes only. For the most up to date and accurate list of species listed under the Species at Risk Act, please see the Justice Laws Website.

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Quick Links: | Photo | Description | Distribution and Population | Habitat | Biology | Threats | Protection | Recovery Initiatives | Recovery Team | National Recovery Program | Documents

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Salamander Mussel Photo 1

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Description

The Mudpuppy Mussel is a small freshwater species with a maximum shell length of 50 mm. The shell is thin and oval to elliptical in shape. The outside of the shell is smooth, yellowish tan to dark brown, with no markings. The inside of the shell is bluish white and iridescent on the back half. As in all mussels, the two halves of the shell are joined together by a hinge. The triangular teeth at the front edge of the hinge (one in each half of the shell) are very small, low and rounded. The Mudpuppy Mussel does not have the elongated teeth that occur along the inside of the hinge in some other species of freshwater mussels.

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Distribution and Population

The Mudpuppy Mussel was historically known from 14 of the United States and in the province of Ontario. In Canada, the species was always restricted to a small area of southwestern Ontario, with only three known historical records from the Sydenham and Detroit rivers. The species now appears to be restricted to a 50 km reach of the East Sydenham River in the Lake St. Clair drainage of Ontario, where 17 live animals were found at four different sites during extensive surveys conducted between 1997 and 1999.

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Habitat

The Mudpuppy Mussel is most often found in sand or silt under large, flat rocks in shallow areas with a swift current, but it may sometimes be found in mud and on gravel bars. Essentially, it is found in areas with enough cover to meet the nesting and sheltering requirements of its larval host, the Mudpuppy salamander.

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Biology

The species has separate sexes. It is believed to be a long-term brooder, which means that spawning occurs in late summer and the larvae (called glochidia) are held in the female’s marsupium over the winter for release the following spring or summer. Glochidia are approximately 260 mm in height and length, clear white in color, triangular in shape, and have well-developed hooks (for attaching to its host). The Mudpuppy Mussel is unique in that it is the only species of freshwater mussel that uses an amphibian host, the mudpuppy salamander (all others use fishes). At 20?C, glochidia remain attached to the mudpuppy host for 19 to 28 days before transforming into free-living mussels . The species’ lifespan and age at sexual maturity are unknown. Like all species of freshwater mussels, it probably feeds primarily on bacteria and algae.

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Threats

The Mudpuppy Mussel is a very poorly known species, and factors limiting its occurrence in North America are completely unknown. However, it may be surmised that threats to the continued existence of this species are similar to those for other species, i.e. impoundments, siltation, channel modification, pollution and zebra mussels. Siltation may be the main limiting factor, since there is evidence that it may lead to the extirpation of its host. Furthermore, siltation has undoubtedly increased in the Sydenham River as a result of intensifying agriculture. Exposure to agricultural chemicals and road run-off are also potential threats.

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Protection

Federal Protection

The Salamander Mussel is protected under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). More information about SARA, including how it protects individual species, is available in the Species at Risk Act: A Guide.

This mussel is also protected under the federal Fisheries Act, which prohibits destruction of fish habitat.

Provincial and Territorial Protection

To know if this species is protected by provincial or territorial laws, consult the provinces' and territories' websites.

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Recovery Initiatives

Status of Recovery Planning

Recovery Strategies :

Name Recovery Strategy for Northern Riffleshell (Epioblasma torulosa rangiana), Snuffbox (Epioblasma triquetra), Round Pigtoe (Pleurobema sintoxia), Mudpuppy Mussel (Simpsonaias ambigua) and Rayed Bean (Villosa fabalis) in Canada.
Status Final posting on SAR registry

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Recovery Team

Ontario Freshwater Mussel Recovery Team

  • Todd Morris - Chair/Contact - Fisheries and Oceans Canada
    Phone: 905-336-4734  Fax: 905-336-6437  Send Email

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Documents

PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.

71 record(s) found.

COSEWIC Status Reports

  • COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Mudpuppy Mussel Simpsonaias ambigua in Canada (2011-08-31)

    The Mudpuppy Mussel, Simpsonaias ambigua (Say, 1825), is a small species of freshwater mussel that is the only living member of the genus Simpsonaias. The shell is thin, fragile, oval to elliptical in shape, considerably elongated, and flattened in males to slightly distended at the posterior end in females. It is much thicker at the front end than the back end. The shell is rounded at both ends, and the top and bottom edges are nearly straight and parallel. The beak, which is the raised part at the top of the shell, is slightly swollen and sculptured with four to five double-looped ridges. The outside of the shell is smooth, yellowish tan to dark brown in colour, and has no markings. The inside of the shell is bluish white, iridescent on the back half, and sometimes tinged with salmon near the depression on the inside of the beak. There is a thin, well-marked depression running along the length of the inside of the shell. As in all mussels, the two halves of the shell are joined together by a hinge. The triangular teeth at the front edge of the hinge are very small, low, and rounded — one in each half of the shell. The elongated teeth found along the inside of the hinge in some species is absent in S. ambigua. Maximum shell length is about 50 mm.
  • COSEWIC Status Appraisal Summary on the Salamander Mussel Simpsonaias ambigua in Canada (2011-09-09)

    Designated Endangered in May 2001. Status re-examined and confirmed in May 2011.

Response Statements

  • Response Statement - Salamander Mussel (2011-12-08)

    This freshwater mussel was reported from two rivers in southern Ontario in 1998. Surveys since the original COSEWIC assessment (2001) have found live individuals still along the Sydenham River. Despite extensive additional sampling, the half-shell found in 1998 is the only evidence of this species along the Thames River. Habitat quality continues to decline from intense agriculture, urban development, and pollution from point and non-point sources. In addition, this mussel only uses the Mudpuppy, a salamander, as its host; threats to the salamander are also threats to the mussel.

Recovery Strategies

  • Recovery Strategy for Northern Riffleshell (Epioblasma rangiana), Snuffbox (Epioblasma triquetra), Round Pigtoe (Pleurobema sintoxia), Salamander Mussel (Simpsonaias ambigua) and Rayed Bean (Villosa fabalis) in Canada (2019-07-30)

    Freshwater mussels are among the world’s most imperiled taxa with declines reported on a global scale (Bogan 1993; Lydeard et al. 2004). The rich unionid fauna of North America has been hit particularly hard with over 70% of the approximately 300 species showing evidence of declines with many now considered rare, endangered, threatened or imperiled (Allan and Flecker 1993; Williams et al. 1993). Canada is home to 55 unionid species, 41 of which can be found in the province of Ontario with 18 species having Canadian distributions restricted to this province. The rivers of southwestern Ontario, primarily those draining into Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie, are home to the richest unionid assemblages in Canada. The Sydenham River has historically been considered to be the richest unionid river in all of Canada (Clarke 1992) with a total species count of 34 (Metcalfe-Smith et al. 2003), however, recent evidence suggests that the Grand (Metcalfe-Smith et al. 2000) and Thames rivers, also with historic species counts of 34, were equally diverse.

Action Plans

  • Action Plan for the Sydenham River in Canada: An Ecosystem Approach (2018-05-24)

    The Sydenham River in southwestern Ontario supports an amazing diversity of aquatic life. Located in the lower Great Lakes basin, the river contains the greatest diversity of freshwater mussel species of any watershed in Canada. At least 34 species of mussels and 80 species of fishes have been found here. Many of these species are rare and seventeen species, including eleven mussels and six fishes, have been assessed by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) as Endangered, Threatened or Special Concern. The majority of these species are protected under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) and seven freshwater mussels (Round Hickorynut, Kidneyshell, Northern Riffleshell, Snuffbox, Round Pigtoe, Rayed Bean and Salamander Mussel) and two fishes (Eastern Sand Darter – Ontario population and Northern Madtom) are the focus of this action plan. The needs of these at risk fishes and mussels within the Sydenham River watershed will be addressed using a multi-species, ecosystem-based approach. The present plan is guided by four SARA recovery strategies for these nine species and builds on the ecosystem-based Sydenham River Recovery Strategy completed in 2003.

Orders

  • Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act (volume 146, number 14, 2012) (2012-07-04)

    The purpose of the Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act is to add 18 species to Schedule 1, the List of Wildlife Species at Risk (the List), and to reclassify 7 listed species, pursuant to subsection 27(1) of SARA. This amendment is made on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment based on scientific assessments by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and on consultations with governments, Aboriginal peoples, stakeholders and the Canadian public.

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2010 - 2011 (2011-09-09)

    Under Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA), the foremost function of COSEWIC is to “assess the status of each wildlife species considered by COSEWIC to be at risk and, as part of the assessment, identify existing and potential threats to the species”. COSEWIC held two Wildlife Species Assessment Meetings during the past year assessing the status or reviewing the classification of a total of 92 wildlife species.

Permits and Related Agreements

  • Explanation for issuing permit(#: DFO-CA SECT 73 SARA C&A 10-002 ), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2010-03-25)

    The Medway Sanitary Trunk Sewer project involves the installation of a sanitary trunk along the Medway Valley to service the communities in north London. Phase 2B of the Medway Sanitary Trunk Sewer is the final extension of the Medway trunk sewer. Phase 2A was constructed in 2007 and involved two crossings and associated mussel relocation and monitoring. The current phase, 2B, involves three crossings on Medway Creek and associated mussel relocation and monitoring. The total estimated prescribed search area for all three crossings is 1828 m2. In addition to the three crossing sites, two other areas need to be searched for mussels, including the relocation area and a control area. The presence of mussels in these areas will be documented to assess the potential impact, if any, of relocated mussels on the population of mussels already living in the relocation sites. Growth and survival of relocated mussels will be monitored and compared to mussels endemic to the relocation site (i.e., control mussels) at one month, one year and two years post re-location.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#17-PCAA-00001), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2017-03-10)

    The St. Clair Region Conservation Authority (SCRCA) is sampling fish and mussels in several locations for presence/absence data. Currently, fish and mussel data is lacking in these areas. Baseline data will be collected to assist in future project proposals and inquiries. Benthic sampling will be undertaken for watershed characterization to allow the SCRCA to assess water quality throughout the watershed. Data obtained will assist the SCRCA in the identification of potential rehabilitation sites and impact monitoring.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#17-PCAA-00009), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2017-04-10)

    The objective of the project is to conduct freshwater mussel surveys and monitoring in Central and Arctic Region. 1) Quantitative sampling - historical monitoring stations on the Thames and Maitland rivers will be revisited and sampling completed during the initial round of monitoring (2005) will be repeated; 2) Semi-quantitative sampling - sampling at Little Bear Creek and Walpole Island will be undertaken using habitat appropriate methods (wading, visual/tactile, searches, calm rakes, etc.); 3) Identification workshop - the workshop will take place in late June over a two-day period. The first day is a laboratory component working with preserved specimens. The second day is spent on-site at a location in the Sydenham River where attendees will develop and practise field identification skills under the guidance of experienced malacologists; 4) Genetic sampling - depending on which species are detected during sampling, it may be necessary to collect genetic samples for further analyses; 5) Depending on which species are found during sampling, it may be necessary to subsample to evaluate the reproductive state of individuals; and, 6) Tagging - when necessary some individuals may be tagged for future identification, using non-invasive tagging techniques.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#19-PCAA-00008), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2019-04-29)

    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.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#19-PCAA-00011), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2019-04-29)

    The objectives of the activities covered by this permit are to conduct fish and mussel surveys in the St. Clair River watershed and the Lake St. Clair watershed. Collected baseline data will be used to assist in future project proposals and inquiries. The activities authorized by this permit consist of the capture of any of the species listed on this permit from the St. Clair River watershed and the Lake St. Clair watershed, which will require the handling of any of the species listed on this permit for the purposes of identification and processing (count, photograph, etc.). Fishes will be released alive with the exception of some smaller fishes that may be retained to confirm identification. All mussels will be returned alive to the locations they were found. Sampling will be completed through the use of a backpack electrofishing unit, seine net, or minnow traps where necessary, using the Ontario Stream Assessment Protocol (OSAP). Mussel surveys will adhere to Mackie et al. (2008).
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#19-PCAA-00016), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2019-05-13)

    The objectives of the activities covered by the permit are to conduct a survey (seining and trawling) of the East Sydenham River to determine if Northern Madtom (Noturus stigmosus) still exists in this watershed. Previous recent surveys have been unsuccessful in detecting this species. The last known record of Northern Madtom in the East Sydenham River was from 1929 near Alvinston, Ontario, and from 1975 near Florence, Ontario. The other species listed on the permit may be captured incidentally during the surveys. The activities authorized by the permit consist of the capture of Northern Madtom from the East Sydenham River using a small mesh trawl and/or a small mesh seine net. The gear type used will depend on habitat conditions and water levels at each site. Identification and processing will involve the handling of Northern Madtom (count, measure, photograph etc.). After fishes are processed (identified, measured) they will be released back to the river, alive. Vouchers will be collected using digital cameras, but some vouchers of smaller fishes may be retained in 10% formalin to confirm identification, if digital vouchers cannot be collected. These survey activities may result in the incidental capture and handling of Eastern Sand Darter (Ammocrypta pellucida) and the species at risk mussels listed on the permit, for the purposes of identification and processing (count, measure, photograph etc.). Any species at risk incidentally captured will be returned alive to the location of capture.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#19-PCAA-00020), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2019-05-13)

    The objectives of the activities covered by the permit are: 1) to study post-excystment juvenile unionid mussel dispersion; 2) to study the effects of multiple stressors on unionid mussel suspension feeding; 3) to study the effect of shear stress on juvenile unionid settlement; 4) to study the association between flow velocity and shell orientations and morphometrics; and, 5) to study the physical conditions present in mussel beds. The species listed on the permit may be captured incidentally during this work. The activities authorized by the permit consist of the incidental capture of species listed on the permit from the Ausable, Grand, Sydenham, and Thames rivers. For the juvenile studies, excavations along a transect across the river will be undertaken using an airlift system that will vacuum up the fine sediments and any juvenile mussels in a 12 x 12 cm quadrat. The excavated material will be carefully processed through a series of sieves to define size classes of sediment. For feeding studies, species will be collected via three possible methods: "raccooning" and excavation; manual sieving through the sediment; and, visual searching (depending on water clarity). These activities will involve the handling of the species listed on the permit for the purposes of identification and processing (count, measure, marking, photograph etc.). Any juveniles found will be measured, photographed, and, along with the sediment, returned to their original place along the transect. All mussel species at risk, once identified, will be measured, marked and returned to the spot where they were collected. The marking is completed with a metal probe that is used to etch the periostracum of the shell (with a unique number), which does not harm the mussel.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#19-PCAA-00038 ), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2019-05-30)

    The objective of the activities covered by the permit is to sample municipal drains for the purpose of classifying unrated drains following the Classifying Ontario Municipal Drains Protocol (Fisheries and Oceans Canada). As fisheries assessments have not been previously conducted on many unrated municipal drains, the species listed on the permit may inhabit these drains and may be captured incidentally during the course of the work. The activities authorized by the permit include: 1. The incidental capture of species at risk (SAR) from the locations listed on the permit using seine nets and/or backpack electrofishing units. Within each sample site, approximately 40 m or 10x the wetted width of the watercourse will be sampled for fishes using either a backpack electrofisher, or a seine net depending on habitat suitability. Within the sample site, block nets will be set up and a minimum of three passes will be completed; 2. The handling of the listed SAR for the purposes of identification (count, measure, photograph, etc.). With the exception of vouchers that may be retained to confirm identification, all fishes will be released alive after processing. Vouchers will be collected using digital cameras for larger fishes and all mussels; however, some vouchers of smaller fishes may be retained in 10% formalin or 95% ethanol to confirm identification (if digital vouchers cannot be collected); and, 3. The possession and transport of any of the listed species that are killed incidentally or for vouchering purposes, preserved in 10% formalin or 95% ethanol.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#19-PCAA-00041 ), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2019-06-17)

    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.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#20-PCAA-00007 ), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2020-03-16)

    Under the guidance of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), the activity involves: 1) establishing a network of permanent monitoring stations throughout historical and present ranges of the Sydenham River, to permit tracking of fish populations, analysis of trends and patterns, and permit the evaluation of recovery actions; 2) establishing and implementing a habitat monitoring program that includes water quality and substrate components. The monitoring program will provide insight into the significance of threat factors. Targeted species at risk fish sampling will be conducted in historically occupied habitat (river reaches in the vicinity of Florence and Alvinston), as well as other potentially suitable habitats, using sampling techniques proven to detect species at risk fishes; and, 3) starting in 2020 and following the guidance of DFO, conduct a spatial pattern study of mussel distribution by completing a systematic survey in a specific reach (or reaches) in order to better understand population abundance/density and species-to-habitat relationships in the Sydenham The St. Clair Region Conservation Authority (SCRCA) will collect fishes using a backpack electrofishing unit, seine net, or minnow traps where necessary, using the Ontario Stream Assessment Protocol. Mussel surveys will adhere to protocol found in Mackie et al. (2008). Fifteen sites will be monitored according to the Ontario Benthos Biomonitoring Network Protocol. At each site, this protocol involves using the travelling kick and sweep method for three minutes, covering an area of about 10 m2 at three transects (optimally riffle-pool-riffle) within a stream meander wavelength. The sites are selected to represent the main watercourse. Each of the small watercourses has at least one sampling site.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#20-PCAA-00009 ), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2020-04-03)

    The objectives of the activities covered by the permit are: 1. To conduct quantitative and semi-quantitative surveys for species at risk mussels to track changes in species and habitat over time, and evaluate recovery efforts. Surveys will be conducted in the St. Clair River and tributaries, the Sydenham, Thames, Grand, and Ottawa rivers, with other locations in lakes Huron, Erie, and Ontario, which may be sampled in the event the need arises. Drift samples may be taken at a subset of sites to evaluate timing of glochidial release. Species listed on the permit may be captured during this work; 2. To hold a mussel identification workshop in late June over a two-day period. The second day will spent at a site on the Sydenham River where attendees will practice field identification skills under guidance of experienced malacologists; 3. Depending on the species detected during qualitative and semi-quantitative sampling, to obtain genetic samples for further analyses; 4. To conduct a morphometric analyses on animals collected during quantitative and/or semi-quantitative sampling; 5. Depending on the species detected during qualitative and semi-quantitative sampling, to evaluate reproductive condition of animals found; and, 6. To tag some individuals when necessary for future identification. The activities authorized by the permit consist of: 1. The capture of all mussel species listed on the permit, via quadrat sampling or timed searches, from the locations listed above. For quantitative sampling, substrates in 1 x 1 m quadrats will be excavated by hand. For all sampling, any mussels found will be identified to species and measured; 2. The handling of the species listed on the permit for the purposes of identification and processing (count, measure, morphometric analyses, tagging, and obtaining genetic samples); and, 3. The possession and transport of any of the species listed on the permit killed incidentally or for vouchering purposes.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#20-PCAA-00012 ), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2020-04-03)

    The objectives of the activities covered by the permit are to test and apply the gear (i.e., mussel brail) required to delineate areas of protected habitat for species at risk mussels in non-wadeable habitats in the Sydenham, Thames, and Grand rivers. The species listed on the permit may be captured in the course of the work. The activities authorized by the permit consist of: 1. The capture of the mussels listed on the permit using a mussel brail within the Sydenham, Thames, and Grand rivers. Surveys at randomly distributed sampling sites (25 sites in each river) will be done by towing a brail along three transects. Individual brail tows, each representing a different length (50, 75, or 100 m) will be done at each site; 2. The handling of the species listed on this permit for the purposes of identification and processing (count, measure, and photograph). Digital vouchers will be taken of any mussels captured; all mussels will be returned alive to the location of capture; and, 3. The possession and transport of any of the species listed on this permit killed incidentally.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#20-PCAA-00024 ), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2020-06-18)

    The objectives of the activity covered by the permit are to survey mussels, as part of a Master's project, to better understand mussel interactions with other aquatic species. The species listed on the permit may be captured during this work. The activities authorized by the permit consist of: 1. The capture of the species listed on the permit via timed search or quadrat surveys from the Sydenham River watershed and Lake St. Clair delta; 2. The handling of the species listed on the permit for the purposes of identification (count, measure, and photograph). All mussels will be returned alive to the location of capture following processing; and, 3. The possession and transport of any of the species listed on the permit killed incidentally.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#20-PCAA-00025 ), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2020-06-18)

    The objectives of the activity covered by the permit are to study shell morphology of freshwater mussels from various southern Ontario waterbodies, and to sample the water column in the Sydenham River to determine patterns in glochidia position in the water column. The species listed on the permit may be captured during this work. The activities authorized by the permit consist of: 1. The capture of species listed on the permit via visual search and larval nets from the Nottawasaga River, Bayfield River, Maitland River, Ausable River, Sydenham River, Thames River, and Grand River; 2. The handling of the species listed on the permit for the purposes of identification and processing (count, measure, and photograph). All mussels will be returned alive to the location of capture after processing, with the exception of a small number of glochidia that will retained for identification; and, 3. The possession and transport of dead specimens of any of the species listed on the permit killed incidentally or for identification purposes (glochidia).
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#21-PCAA-00009 ), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2021-03-10)

    The objectives of the activities covered by this permit include: 1. Establishing a network of permanent monitoring stations throughout the Sydenham River, in Ontario, to permit tracking of fish populations, analysis of trends and patterns, and permit the evaluation of recovery actions; 2. To conduct a spatial pattern study of mussel distribution by completing a systematic survey in a specific reach (or reaches) in order to better understand population abundance and density, and species to habitat relationships in the Sydenham River; and, 3. To conduct benthic sampling at fifteen sites according to the Ontario Benthos Biomonitoring Network Protocol. The mussels and fishes listed on the permit may be encountered incidentally during the work. The activities authorized by this permit consist of: 1. The capture of any of the species listed on the permit from the St. Clair River watershed and/or the Lake St. Clair watershed. Sampling will be completed through the use of a backpack electrofishing unit, seine net, or minnow traps where necessary, using the Ontario Stream Assessment Protocol. Mussel surveys will adhere to Mackie et al. (2008). Benthic surveys will employ the travelling kick-and-sweep method for three minutes, covering an area of about 10 m at three transects (optimally riffle-pool-riffle) within a stream meander wavelength; 2. The handling of any of the species listed on this permit for the purposes of identification and processing (count, measure, and photograph). Fishes will be identified, counted, and released alive, with the exception of some smaller fishes that may be retained to confirm identification. All mussels will be returned alive to the locations they were found; and, 3. The possession and transport of any species listed on this permit killed incidentally or for vouchering purposes.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#21-PCAA-00023 ), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2021-05-05)

    The objectives of the activities covered by the permit are: 1. To conduct quantitative and semi-quantitative surveys in the St. Clair River and tributaries, the Sydenham, Thames, and Grand rivers, and lakes Huron, Erie, and Ontario, for species at risk (SAR) mussels (Fawnsfoot [Truncilla donaciformis], Hickorynut [Obovaria olivaria], Kidneyshell [Ptychobranchus fasciolaris], Lilliput [Toxolasma parvum], Northern Riffleshell [Epioblasma rangiana], Rayed Bean [Villosa fabalis], Round Pigtoe [Pleurobema sintoxia], Round Hickorynut [Obovaria subrotunda], Salamander Mussel [Simpsonaias ambigua], Snuffbox [Epioblasma triquetra], and Threehorn Wartyback [Obliquaria reflexa]), to track changes in species and habitat over time, and evaluate recovery efforts. Drift samples may be taken at a subset of sites to evaluate the timing of glochidial release; 2. To hold a mussel identification workshop in late June over a two-day period. The second day of will be spent at a site on the Sydenham River where attendees will practice field identification skills under the guidance of experienced malacologists; 3. Depending on the species detected during qualitative and semi-quantitative sampling, to obtain genetic samples for further analyses; 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. The aforementioned species may be captured during this work. The activities authorized by the permit consist of: 1. The capture of all mussel species listed previously, via quadrat sampling or timed searches, from the locations listed previously. 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 to species and measured; 2. The handling of SAR for the purposes of identification and processing (count, measure, morphometric analyses, tagging, and obtaining genetic samples); and, 3. The possession and transport of any of the species listed previously killed incidentally or for vouchering purposes.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#DFO SARA C&A 14-PCAA-00006), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2014-04-23)

    The purpose of the permit is to identify fish and mussel species composition of designated watershed within the St. Clair Region. Currently, fish and mussel data is lacking in these areas and conducting these surveys will provide baseline data for the area. Another purpose of the permit is to identify macroinvertebrates for watershed characterization. The benthic sampling is to assess water quality throughout the watershed within St. Clair region. This information will help determine potential rehabilitation sites and allow for monitoring of impacts of these projects.
  • >> See more Permits and Related Agreements documents

Critical Habitat Orders

Recovery Document Posting Plans

  • Recovery Document Posting Plan - Fisheries and Oceans Canada - Fiscal Year 2016-2017 (2018-09-28)

    Under the Species at Risk Act (SARA), the competent Minister(s) must prepare a recovery strategy within one year of listing a species on Schedule 1 of SARA as endangered and within two years of listing a species as extirpated or threatened. A management plan must be prepared within three years for a species listed as special concern. Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is accountable for 111 of the 518 species listed under SARA. As of February 2016, proposed recovery strategies, management plans and action plans for 57 of those species have not yet been posted to the Species at Risk Public Registry. An additional 23 aquatic species have proposed management or action plans coming due in the future. The following outlines the Department’s plan for posting proposed documents for 64 species on the Species at Risk Public Registry. The Department has a plan to post recovery strategies for 9 species, management plans for 13 species, and action plans for 42 species over the next year. Original publication of the Recovery Document Posting Plan: 2016-05-02
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