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Tuesday, January 26 • 10:00am - 10:20am
Development of Sampling Protocols For Freshwater Mussel Density Estimates In The Meramec River Basin, Missouri

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AUTHORS: Matthew C. Schrum, Missouri Fish and Wildlife Cooperative; Amanda E. Rosenberger, Missouri Fish and Wildlife Cooperative; Steve McMurray, Missouri Department of Conservation

ABSTRACT: Freshwater mussels are among the most threatened aquatic fauna in North America. Given the need for continued monitoring of threatened populations, an evaluation of the effectiveness of metrics from visually-based sampling methods is an essential step in assessing populations of these mollusks. We surveyed 14 sites in the Meramec River Basin in East Central Missouri. At each site, we employed three visual methods for estimating abundance; timed visual searches, systematic strip transects, and stratified randomly placed visual 0.25 m² quadrats. We excavated substrate at each 0.25 m² quadrat to determine baseline abundances for each species. We compare the results of abundance estimates of each of the visual methods with the density estimates based on excavated quadrat samples. Sampling efficiencies of visual-based quadrats were calculated and used to determine if visual techniques provide reasonable approximation of overall mussel abundances and investigated factors that influenced their effectiveness. These results will be used to produce sampling protocols for freshwater mussels for the state of Missouri.

Tuesday January 26, 2016 10:00am - 10:20am EST
Vandenberg B