Great Miami River Endangered Mussel Survey – RA Consultants/City of Dayton – Dayton, Ohio
As part of proposed construction of a Parallel Interceptor Sewer adjacent to the Great Miami River, STONE performed an endangered mussel survey to identify the likelihood of the endangered V. fabalis (rayed bean) species of mussel being present in the Great Miami River in the vicinity of the proposed project. Surveys designed to identify the presence, numeric abundance, community structure, and current distribution of mussels in Ohio have become increasingly important as the fauna has declined (reviewed in Watters et al., 2009). In Ohio, for example, there are more listed species of mussels (endangered, threatened, and species of concern) as a percentage of the total number of species, than any other group of organism.
The objective of the survey was to determine if a population and/or habitat for a population of V. fabalis (rayed bean) was present in a reach of this river that may be impacted by the project. STONE followed the surface survey methods of the 2016 Ohio Mussel Protocols (USFWS & ODNR, 2016) employing the surface visual survey protocol of a Phase 1 survey. Although 12 species of mussels were found to be extant in this 9,000 feet reach of the river, no freshly dead or living specimens of V. fabalis (rayed bean) were found. In addition, although habitat for mussels was present throughout this reach, that habitat was insufficient for a rare species such as V. fabalis (rayed bean). One weathered valve of a second federally listed endangered mussel, E. triquetra (snuffbox) was located. This species was also determined to be not present in the reach of the river that may be impacted by the project. Since both species of mussel were currently absent from the reach, and habitat for both species was insufficient, it was determined that the project would not impact endangered mussels in the Great Miami River.