United States       Office of Water     EPA 800-R-13-003
Environmental Protection    4305T        August 2013
 Technical Support Document for
    Conducting and Reviewing
  Freshwater Mussel Occurrence
  Surveys for the Development of
Site-specific Water Quality Criteria
          for Ammonia

          Technical Support Document for
       Conducting and Reviewing Freshwater
Mussel Occurrence Surveys for the Development of
        Site-specific Water Quality Criteria
                    for Ammonia
                       August 2013
              U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
                      Office of Water
                Office of Science and Technology
             Standards and Health Protection Division
             National Water Quality Standards Branch
                      Washington, DC


This technical support document (TSD) was prepared by Trish Rider, Lars Wilcut, Shari Barash,
and Grace Robiou with written and technical support provided by Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) contractor Great Lakes Environmental Center, Inc. External expert peer review
was conducted by Eastern Research Group, Inc., and peer reviewers included Alex M. Barren
(Virginia Department of Environmental Quality), Jerome Diamond (Tetra Tech, Inc.), Celeste
Mazzacano (The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation), David Strayer (Gary Institute of
Ecosystem Studies), and John Van Hassel (American Electric Power). Additional  input on and
assistance with this TSD were also provided by Robert Angelo (EPA's Region 7 office in Kansas
City), Tom Augspurger (United States Fish and Wildlife Service), Candice Bauer (EPA's Region
5 office in Chicago), Heidi Dunn (Ecological Specialist, Inc.), Thomas Gardner (EPA's Office of
Science and Technology), Edward Hammer (EPA's Region 5 office in Chicago), Gretchen
Giannelli (ORISE Research Participant, EPA's Office of Science and Technology), Stephen
McMurray (Missouri Department of Conservation), and David Smith (United States Geological
Survey). Please submit comments or questions to Trish Rider, U.S. EPA, Mail Code 4305T,
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20460 (e-mail: rider.trish@epa.gov).

This TSD does not impose legally binding requirements on EPA, states, tribes, or the regulated
community, nor does it confer legal rights or impose legal obligations upon any member of the
public. The Clean Water Act (CWA) provisions and the EPA regulations described in this
document contain legally binding requirements. This TSD does not constitute a regulation, nor
does it change or substitute for any CWA provision or EPA regulation.

 Since the publication of the United States Environmental Protection Agency's (USEPA or EPA)
 1999 Clean Water Act (CWA) § 304(a) national ambient water quality criteria recommendations
 for ammonia (USEPA 1999), additional toxicity testing has confirmed data on the effects of
 ammonia on sensitive freshwater invertebrate species in general and freshwater mollusk species
 (e.g., freshwater mussels in the Order Unionoida) in particular. EPA's 2013 national ammonia
 criteria recommendations (USEPA 2013a) expand the freshwater toxicity database for ammonia
 and result in national criteria recommendations that are protective of the aquatic community as a
 whole, which includes sensitive freshwater mollusk species.

 EPA 304(a) national criteria recommendations that are developed using EPA's 1985 Guidelines
for Deriving Numerical National Water Quality Criteria for the Protection of Aquatic Organisms
 and Their Uses (USEPA 1985) are based on the premise that toxicological data for the species
 used to derive the national criteria recommendations are representative of the sensitivities of
 appropriate untested species (see Section III, p. 11 of the 1985 Guidelines referenced above).
 The acute and chronic datasets included in EPA's national criteria recommendations are
 generally from tests with aquatic species that are sensitive to many pollutants, but these and
 comparably sensitive species might not occur at a site;  conversely more sensitive species could
 occur at a site. For example, freshwater mussels in the  Order Unionoida are included in the 2013
 national criteria dataset for ammonia but may not occur at all sites.

 To facilitate the state and tribal adoption and implementation of the 2013 national criteria
 recommendations for  ammonia, EPA has developed Revised Deletion Process for the Site-
 Specific Recalculation Procedure for Aquatic Life Criteria (USEPA 2013b), which describes a
 procedure and includes a spreadsheet that may be used to derive site-specific water quality
 criteria for the protection of aquatic life in order to better reflect the organisms that  occur at a
 specific site. The Recalculation Procedure is intended to allow site-specific criteria that
 appropriately differ from national criteria recommendations  (i.e., concentrations that are higher
 or lower than national recommendations) where there are demonstrated differences in sensitivity
 between the aquatic species that occur at the site and those that were used to derive the national
 criteria recommendations.

 This technical support document (TSD) has been prepared explicitly to provide information to
 help states and tribes determine whether freshwater mussels  in the Order Unionoida are present
 or absent at a particular site. If unionid mussels are determined to be absent at a particular site,
 states and tribes may decide to adopt site-specific criteria based either on the alternative criteria
 values provided in Appendix N of the 2013 national ammonia criteria recommendations, or on
 their own criteria values resulting from application of the Recalculation Procedure.

 This TSD summarizes commonly used mussel survey techniques, sampling methods, and data
 sources and provides an overview of various study approaches, considerations, and limitations
 for individuals without mussel survey experience who  may be involved in  conducting or
 reviewing a freshwater mussel study in connection with state or tribal site-specific criteria for


Acknowledgements	iii
Disclaimer	iii
Executive Summary	iv
Table of Contents	v
Introduction	1
Purpose	1
Development of this Document	2
Background on Water Quality Criteria and the Recalculation Procedure	3
  Water Quality Criteria	3
  The Recalculation Procedure	4
General Approach to Mussel Presence/Absence Determinations	6
  Phase 1. Delineate the Site and Define Presence and Absence	7
     Step 1. Delineate the Site	7
     Step 2. Define Mussel Presence and Absence	8
  Phase 2. Check Databases, Literature, and Reports for Mussel Survey Records	9
     Available Data	10
  Phase 3. Conducting Mussel Surveys	13
     Step 1: Define the Study Objective	13
     Step 2: Choose a Sampling Approach	14
     Step 3: Choose a Sampling Design	15
     Step 4: Choose a Sampling Method	20
     Other Considerations for Mussel Surveys	25
     Checklist of Key Elements in a Mussel Survey Protocol	27
  Phase 4. Develop Site-specific Criteria Using the Recalculation Procedure	29
  Phase 5. Re-evaluate as needed	30
Summary	32
Cited References	33
Appendix  A: How to Use NatureServe© Explorer to Query Mussel Distribution Data	36
Appendix  B: Additional Resources	46
Appendix  C: Example Surveys	52
  Wadeable Rivers	52
  Large Area: Mid-sized Streams	53
  Large River	55
Appendix  D: Examples of Typical Survey Data	57

In 2013, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA or EPA) published
updated Clean Water Act (CWA) § 304(a) national ambient water quality criteria
recommendations for ammonia to incorporate the latest science, which includes new toxicity
studies on freshwater mussels (USEPA 2013a). The updated ammonia criteria recommendations
apply to all fresh waters for the protection of the overall aquatic community, including fish,
mussels, and other mollusks.

Because mussels in the Order Unionoida (hereafter referred to as "freshwater mussels" or
"mussels") include some of the most sensitive species in the national dataset for the ammonia
criteria recommendations but may not be present in all waters, EPA anticipates that some states
and tribes may consider site-specific criteria where there are demonstrated differences in
sensitivity between the aquatic species that occur at a given site and those that were used to
derive the national criteria recommendations. In the case of ammonia, where a state or tribe can
demonstrate that mussels are absent on  a site-specific basis, a state or tribe can use the site-
specific criteria values provided in Appendix N of the Aquatic Life Ambient Water Quality
Criteria for Ammonia - Freshwater 2013 (USEPA 20103 a), or use the Recalculation Procedure
to derive their own site-specific criteria values [see Revised Deletion Process for the Site-
Specific Recalculation Procedure for Aquatic Life  Criteria (USEPA 2013b) and EPA's Water
Quality Standards Handbook (USEPA  1994a)].1>2  Removal of the mussel species from the
national criteria dataset may better represent the species present in the waterbody. In this case,
the Recalculation Procedure may result in criteria (and associated water  quality-based effluent
limits based on such criteria) with higher concentrations than EPA's recommendations but that
are still protective of the designated use of the waterbody.
This document provides a basic overview of freshwater mussel survey techniques, sampling
methods, and data sources as well as additional sources of information for individuals without
mussel survey experience who may be involved in conducting or reviewing a freshwater mussel

Specifically, the purpose of this document is two-fold:

    1.  To assist state and tribal staff in determining whether freshwater mussels in the Order
       Unionoida are present or absent (i.e., do not occur) at a particular site.
1 Throughout this document, use of the terms "freshwater mussels" or "mussels" refer specifically to mussels in the
Order Unionoida.
2 Throughout this document, the term "states and tribes" also refers to U.S. territories. The terms "tribes" and
"tribal" refer to tribes authorized for treatment in a manner similar to a state under CWA § 518 for purposes of §
303(c) water quality standards.

       To assist EPA staff in reviewing state and tribal water quality standards (WQS)
       submissions that contain site-specific criteria for ammonia (either from Appendix N of
       the 2013 national ammonia criteria recommendations, or derived using EPA's
       Recalculation Procedure) and a demonstration that mussels are absent (i.e., do not occur)
       at the site.3
In developing this document, EPA undertook several efforts to collect information on existing
mussel survey techniques, sampling methods, and data sources. EPA received information from
mussel experts in academia, industry, and government; state natural heritage programs; state fish
and game agencies, environmental protection agencies; and natural resource and conservation
agencies. Combined with a literature review, the information EPA received formed the basis for
the background and general content and scope of a draft Technical Support Document for
Conducting and Reviewing Freshwater Mussel Occurrence Surveys for the Development of Site-
specific Water Quality Criteria for Ammonia. The draft technical support document (TSD) was
then sent to five independent external expert peer reviewers who were charged with answering
specific questions concerning the content, scope, completeness, and adequacy of this TSD. EPA
then revised the TSD to reflect the recommendations of the peer reviewers.

Information presented in this document neither represents an exhaustive list of available
techniques, sampling methods, and approaches for conducting mussel surveys nor recommends
an approach that states and tribes must undertake to make mussel presence/absence
determinations in support of site-specific criteria development for ammonia. Instead, this
document represents the information EPA compiled during its information collection efforts, and
the brief overview provided in this document is for informational purposes only. EPA is not
endorsing or directing states or tribes to use any particular method or approach, as states and
tribes choosing to utilize the Recalculation Procedure for ammonia have the flexibility to elect
any method they deem appropriate to demonstrate that mussels are absent on a site-specific basis
as long as the chosen method is scientifically defensible. However, based on information
acquired during the development of this document and the subsequent peer review, EPA believes
that much of the information provided below under "General Approach to Mussel
Presence/Absence Determinations" represent the key elements upon which states and tribes may
base an approach to support a scientifically-defensible rationale for their decision-making
processes. Consequently, EPA anticipates that approval of site-specific  criteria may rely on the
inclusion of some or all of these key elements (or similar fact-finding information) in order to
provide the most transparent, high quality, and scientifically-defensible rationale for a decision
that aligns with the goals of the CWA.
3 Although this document is primarily intended to assist state and tribal water quality regulators with developing and
EPA staff with reviewing site-specific criteria for ammonia, EPA is fully aware that other parties may be interested
in pursuing site-specific water quality criteria development for ammonia and may also use the information in this
document to justify those decisions and situations where site-specific criteria might be appropriate. However, EPA
only considers the information submitted by the state or tribe when reviewing adopted state water quality criteria.

Background on Water Quality Criteria and the Recalculation Procedure

The term "water quality criteria" has two different meanings under the CWA. Under § 304(a),
EPA publishes water quality criteria recommendations that consist of scientific information
regarding concentrations of specific chemicals or levels of parameters in water that protect
aquatic life and human health. States and tribes may use these recommendations as the basis for
developing enforceable WQS. Water quality criteria are also elements of state and tribal WQS
adopted under § 303(c) of the CWA. According to the federal WQS regulations at 40 CFR §
131.1 l(a)(l), states and tribes must adopt water quality criteria that meet the following

       Protect the designated use(s) of a waterbody.
       Be based on a sound scientific rationale.
   -   Contain sufficient parameters or constituents to protect the designated use.
       Support the most sensitive use of the waterbody.

Additionally, the regulation at 40 CFR §131.1 l(b)(l)(ii) provides that states and tribes may
adopt water quality criteria that"... reflect site-specific conditions." Site-specific criteria are
intended to come closer than the national criteria recommendations to providing the intended
level of protection to the aquatic life at the site, usually by taking into account the biological
and/or chemical conditions (i.e., the species composition and/or water quality characteristics) at
the site. Site-specific criteria, as with all water quality criteria, must be based on a sound
scientific rationale and protect the designated use.

When states and tribes adopt new and/or revised WQS (which include water quality criteria),
they are required under CWA § 303(c) to submit such standards to EPA for review and
approval/disapproval. EPA reviews the standards following the requirements of § 303(c) of the
CWA to ensure that the use designations, water quality criteria, and antidegradation policy meet
minimum requirements. EPA also ensures that standards are scientifically defensible and that
they adhere to regulatory and statutory requirements.

According to EPA's Water Quality Standards Handbook: Second Edition (USEPA 1994a), some
of the general elements of an EPA review include, but are not limited to, the following:

   -   EPA determines whether the state's or tribe's water quality criteria are sufficient to
       protect the designated uses by ensuring that all numeric criteria are based on CWA §
       304(a) guidance, § 304(a) guidance modified to reflect site-specific conditions, or other
       scientifically-defensible methods. EPA's decision to approve or disapprove criteria based
       on site-specific calculations or alternative scientific procedures is based on whether the
       site-specific criteria  are also sufficient to protect the designated use and on a
       determination of the validity and adequacy of the supporting scientific procedures and
       assumptions. EPA's decision to approve or disapprove site-specific criteria is not based
       on whether the resulting criteria are more or less stringent than EPA guidance.

       EPA ensures that designated uses and/or criteria provide for the attainment and
       maintenance of downstream standards.
       Where the analyses supporting any changes in the WQS are inadequate, EPA identifies
       how the analyses should be improved and suggests the type of information or analyses
       EPA reviews whether the revised or new  state or tribal WQS are consistent with the
       CWA and EPA's implementing WQS regulations.
In Guidelines for Deriving Numerical Aquatic Site-specific Water Quality Criteria by Modifying
National Criteria (USEPA 1984), EPA first described three procedures that can be used to derive
site-specific aquatic life water quality criteria:

    1.  The Recalculation Procedure, a taxonomic composition adjustment (revised in 2013).
    2.  The Indicator Species Procedure, a bioavailability adjustment now called the Water-
       Effect Ratio Procedure.
    3.  The Resident Species Procedure, a little-used approach effectively superseded by
       combined application of the Recalculation and Water-Effect Ratio Procedures.

The Recalculation Procedure may be used to derive site-specific criteria concentrations that are
higher or lower than the national criteria recommendations where demonstrated differences in
sensitivity exist between the aquatic species that occur at the site and those that were used to
derive the national criteria recommendations. The Recalculation Procedure allows for the
creation of a site-specific toxicity dataset that is appropriate for deriving site-specific aquatic life
criteria through correction, addition, and/or deletion of test results in the national toxicity dataset
for the pollutant of concern (e.g., ammonia).4 Due to the complexity of the relationship between
ammonia toxicity and pH  and temperature across different aquatic organisms, EPA has re-
calculated site-specific criteria removing mussels from the national dataset and provided these
values in Appendix N of the 2013 ammonia criteria document.

Deletion is based on taxonomic composition of the site under consideration. The deletion
procedure does not provide for simplistic deletion of all species that do not occur at the site
because some tested species might be necessary to represent untested species that occur at the
site. Rather the concept is to consider which tested species are most closely related to those
occurring at the site and to delete those for which another tested species would better represent
the species occurring at the site. Because the 2013 national criteria recommendations for
ammonia are driven in part by the sensitivity of freshwater mussels5 and these animals may not
be present at all locations  throughout a particular state or tribal land, EPA anticipates that some
states and tribes may consider using either the alternate criteria values provided in Appendix N
of the 2013 national ammonia criteria recommendations or the updated deletion process of the
4 Only corrections and additions approved by EPA may be made. All corrections and additions should be made
before the deletion process is performed (USEPA 1994b).
5 Freshwater aquatic snails, although sensitive to ammonia, are somewhat less sensitive than mussels; it is also
assumed that their distribution is ubiquitous. Therefore they are not the focus of this document: the use of the
Recalculation Procedure for deriving site-specific ammonia criteria.

Recalculation Procedure to derive site-specific criteria where there is a demonstrated difference
in sensitivity between the aquatic species that occur at a particular site and those that were used
to derive the national criteria recommendations.

The Recalculation Procedure is dependent on the species that occur at the site. As stated in
Revised Deletion Process for the Site-Specific Recalculation Procedure for Aquatic Life Criteria
(USEPA 2013b), the equivalent terms "resident" and "occur at the site" include life stages and
species that meet one of the following elements:

    -   Are usually present at the site.
    -   Are present at the site only seasonally due to migration.
       Are present at the site intermittently because they periodically return to or extend their
       ranges into the site.
    -   Were present at the site in the past, are not currently present at the site due to degraded
       conditions, but are expected to return to the site when conditions improve, or
       Are present in nearby bodies of water, are not currently present at the site due to
       degraded conditions, but are expected to be present at the site when conditions improve.

The terms "resident" or "occur at the site" do not include life stages and  species that meet one of
the following elements:

    -   Were once present at the site but cannot exist at the site now due to permanent (physical)
       alterations of the habitat or other conditions that are not likely to  change within
       reasonable planning horizons.
       Are still-water life stages or species that are  found  at a flowing-water site solely and
       exclusively because they are washed through the site by stream flow from a still-water

Special provisions apply if a "critical species" occurs at a site. A critical  species is a resident
species that is commercially or recreationally important at the site, listed as threatened or
endangered under Section 4 of the Endangered Species Act, or a  species for which there is firm
evidence that its loss would yield an unacceptable impact on the site's commercially or
recreationally important species, endangered species, abundances of a variety of other species,  or
structure or function. The deletion process should not be undertaken unless toxicity data are
available for at least one species in each class of aquatic plants or animals that contains  a critical
species. Similarly, states and tribes should be mindful of areas where there is designated critical
habitat for any endangered or threatened species listed under Section  4 of the Endangered
Species Act when determining if they should pursue site-specific criteria, particularly if those
critical habitat areas fall within the site.

When site-specific criteria are derived using the Recalculation Procedure, all species that occur
at the site should be taken into account when deciding what species, if any, are to be deleted
from the dataset. Perhaps the most important condition in defining species  residency is that the
taxa that occur at the site cannot be determined merely by  a one-time sampling downstream
and/or upstream of the site. The approach below describes one way to ensure a comprehensive,

scientifically-defensible determination of the absence of mussels at a given site, or in a
General Approach to Mussel Presence/Absence Determinations

In practice, the effective use of the deletion process in the Recalculation Procedure is predicated
on the determination of species that occur/do not occur at the site (i.e., presence/absence). To this
end, several peer reviewers advocated for a tiered or phased approach to mussel
presence/absence determinations that is similar to the approach described below. The concept of
this approach is to reduce the required effort needed to make a decision that mussels are present
and add increased scrutiny and effort for "mussels-absent" decisions. For example, a state or
tribe may choose to follow the phased approach below to determine if mussels are absent when
pursuing site-specific criteria for ammonia using the Recalculation Procedure:

    1.  Delineate the site (study area) and define presence and absence.
   2.  Check databases, literature, and reports for mussel survey records (historical and recent).
   3.  If no records of mussel presence are available, conduct a mussel  survey(s) at the site.
   4.  If after steps 1-3 mussels are still not detected, develop site-specific criteria using the
       Recalculation Procedure.
   5.  Re-evaluate the site-specific criteria as needed but at least once every three years in
       conjunction with the state or tribe's triennial WQS review process.

At any point during the phased approach, if freshwater mussels in the Order Unionoida are found
at the site, the state or tribe may choose to discontinue the development of site-specific criteria.
Note, however, that the Recalculation Procedure may still afford some flexibility in a limited
number of instances even where freshwater mussels are found to be present in the waterbody. At
sites where only one or a few untested mussel species are present, the state  or tribe may want to
consider conducting toxicity tests on such species rather than relying on the species in the
national dataset to serve as surrogates for the untested species.6

The remainder of this document is  organized following the steps indicated above because the
general approach outlined highlights many important nuances and elements that a "mussels-
absent" decision might contain. This approach may be useful to  states and tribes because it
identifies several elements that should be included in a record of decision to support any decision
a state or tribe might reach regarding mussel presence or absence. In providing this information,
EPA is not advocating for the use of any one specific approach over another but, instead,
encourages states and tribes to develop their own process as necessary (i.e., states or tribes may
add to, modify, or remove any of the steps above or base their decisions on an entirely different
approach at their discretion).
6 While this document is intended to address the approach a state or tribe may follow to provide adequate
justification for a "mussels-absent" determination, correct use of the Recalculation Procedure requires consideration
of all species that occur at the site.

Throughout the process of using the Recalculation Procedure, a state or tribe must be mindful of
downstream waters. For example, as with all designated uses and criteria in a state's or tribe's
WQS, 40 CFR § 131.10(b) states the following:

   In designating uses of a water body and the appropriate criteria for the uses, the State shall
   take into consideration the water quality standards of downstream waters and shall ensure
   that its water quality standards provide for the attainment and maintenance of the water
   quality standards of downstream waters.

States and tribes should take into account downstream waters when they consider any changes to
site-specific criteria at a given site.
Fundamental to derivation of any site-specific criteria is delineating the site to which the criteria
will apply. There are several key issues in delineating the site, particularly as it pertains to WQS,
the Recalculation Procedure, ammonia, and mussels. Because the rationales for site-specific
criteria are usually based on differences in species sensitivity, physical and chemical
characteristics of the water, or a combination of the two, the concept of a site should be
consistent with this rationale. In the general context of site-specific criteria, a "site" may be a
region, watershed,  waterbody, or segment of a waterbody. The site-specific criteria are to
provide adequate protection for the entire site no matter how the site is defined.

For example, if the species occurring at a site are lexicologically comparable to those in the
national criteria dataset for a pollutant of interest and physical and/or chemical water
characteristics are the only factors supporting modification of the national criteria
recommendations,  the site can be defined on the basis of expected changes in that pollutant's
biological availability and/or toxicity due to physical and chemical variability of the site water.
If, however, physical and chemical characteristics of the water are not an important
consideration, the site can be as large as a generally consistent biogeographic zone permits. For
example, large portions of the Chesapeake Bay, Lake Michigan, or the Ohio River may be
considered as one site if their respective aquatic communities do not vary substantially [see
section 3.7.3 of EPA's Water Quality Standards Handbook: Second Edition (USEPA 1994a)].
Communities with a unique taxonomic composition may also justify a designation as a distinct
site. In general, the number of taxa that occur at the site will decrease as the size of the site

Exactly how the site is defined is a matter of state  or tribal discretion as long as the definition is
scientifically defensible and transparent. Examples of site definitions include the following:

       A stream, river, lake, reservoir, or wetland.
       A segment  of a stream, river, lake, reservoir, or wetland.
   -   A watershed or part of a watershed.
       Some specified distance upstream and downstream of a point-source discharge.
       Some other geographical feature or extent, as defined in the state's or tribe's WQS.

With ammonia in particular, delineating the extent of the site (e.g., site boundaries) may require
characterization of expected worst-case instream conditions or a study of the transport and fate of
ammonia from a point source discharge at a site. Such characterization should include how far
downstream the effects of the ammonia discharge are observed or expected and the potential
impact of that discharge on the downstream waters. A permit limit might be controlled by a
criterion that applies outside (e.g., downstream of) the site. Furthermore, a scientifically-
defensible approach to delineating a site that is subject to a specific source of pollution (i.e.,
discharge from a wastewater treatment plant) should take into consideration upstream waters or
other nearby reference waters that are free of pollution to help  determine the likelihood for
mussel habitation at the site. Surveying exclusively within the  spatial extent of the discharge
could confound the survey results, as mussels may already have been extirpated from that site.
Although sedentary as adults, freshwater mussels are capable of colonizing new territory when
they are attached to their fish hosts in the larval  stage.  Knowledge of the presence/absence of
mussels both below and above the source of an ammonia input (specifically in areas of suitable
habitat) into the waterbody can help determine if the source of pollution may be cause for their
absence. Characterizing the discharge from a point source can  aid in the determination of proper
boundaries for the site, which should include areas beyond the zone of anticipated effects (area
of direct impact) to determine the potential for mussel colonization within the delineated site.
As stated above, the Recalculation Procedure is dependent on the species that occur at the site,
and the definition of "occur at the site" relies on the term "present," which can be interpreted in
different ways for different species. For example, for freshwater mussels, presence can be
defined in terms of the existence of live mussels, mussel tracks, recently dead mussels' shells,
unweathered shells, suitable habitat, and/or historical presence data.7 Similarly, information that
could indicate that mussels are absent at a site could include the lack of live mussels, shells, fish
hosts, historical presence data, and records in any database and published and unpublished
literature as well as the existence of only weathered or sub-fossil shells without evidence of live
mussels.  The results of any mussel survey will depend, in part, on how the state, tribe, surveyor,
or other entity chooses to define mussel presence and absence.

While presence of mussels can be a rather straight forward definition, most experts agree that it
is difficult to determine true absence of a species in a waterbody, which may be contingent on
many considerations other than simply not finding live mussels during a particular survey.
Moreover, sampling efforts generally are limited due to self-imposed temporal and spatial
7 According to the external peer reviewers, using the existence of suitable habitat as the sole criteria for mussel
presence and the lack of suitable habitat for mussel absence should be used sparingly and with extreme caution
because different species of mussels have different habitat and microhabitat preferences. Furthermore, even
experienced malacologists can be surprised where they find mussels (e.g., even in deep silt or on solid bedrock).
Habitat descriptors used by most malacologists to define mussel habitat do a poor job of predicting where mussels
occur (see Strayer and Ralley 1993 for more information).
8 Mussels have a unique life history where their eggs develop into parasitic larvae (glochidia). During this stage, the
young mussels are expelled from the mother and must quickly attach to the gills or fins of a fish host  (Harrold and
Guralnick 2010).  Because glochidia cannot swim, many are lost at this stage while the others stay attached to their
host fish until they are strong enough to drop off and find a place in the substrate to grow into adults.  Some mussels
have a specific host, but others will attach to any fish that comes along (Harrold and Guralnick 2010).

sampling constraints and may not be sufficient to support a declaration of true absence.
Therefore, the terms "no mussels observed" or "mussels not detected" are generally used rather
than "absent."

Because of the difficulty in determining true absence of a species, there are no existing
standardized protocols to determine absence of mussels with 100% accuracy. However,
statistical models can be applied with specific survey types and designs to estimate the likelihood
that mussels are absent or that a specific rare species is absent (Strayer and Smith 2003; Smith
2006). Such models have generally been used to estimate the likelihood of mussel absence only
at targeted sites rather than entire streams or watersheds. When the ability to detect a species is
low (such as with a rare species), mussel surveys may be better able to gauge the probability that
mussels are present in an area rather than  document their absence. For example, one possible
definition of absence might be if actual mussel survey data supported the conclusion that the
probability of mussel presence given the survey effort was less than some predetermined
threshold (e.g., 5%). In this example, one  could allow the conclusion that mussels  are absent
(i.e., occurred at a density less than X) if the survey data supported the conclusion that the
probability of a density greater than X were below some threshold (e.g.,  5%). Both the density X
and the threshold should be established by state or tribal regulators before any surveys begin.
The literature on the conservation of rare/extinct species provides additional guidance on the
problem of interpreting absence (or extinction) from actual survey data (Smith 2006).

The absence of mussels at  one point in time does not guarantee that they will not be present even
a few months later. As stated above, mussels are capable of colonizing new territory when they
are carried on their fish hosts in the larval stage.  In Virginia, for example, an absence survey is
considered valid for only two years.

However a state or tribe chooses to define presence and absence, the definition should be clear,
transparent, reasonable,  scientifically defensible, and available to the public.
This step of the phased approach to mussel presence/absence determinations utilizes the
information that is already available to the state or tribe. Specifically, it provides an initial screen
of available mussel occurrence data to help the state or tribe determine and/or prioritize areas
that may warrant pursuit of site-specific criteria for ammonia. One readily-available database
that can be accessed easily and with little time and effort is NatureServe© Explorer. This online
searchable database has information on more than 70,000 plants, animals, and ecosystems of the
U.S. and Canada.  Appendix A provides a step-by-step guide describing how to access the mussel
distribution data in NatureServe© Explorer at the state, county, and watershed levels. A state or
tribe may want to prescreen their waters using this database and/or other databases and sources
of information to determine which waterbodies may benefit from site-specific ammonia criteria
and which may not, based on survey records of mussels presence. However, it should be noted
that NatureServe© Explorer does not contain all available data, so a state or tribe may find it
necessary to look  for data from other sources as well. Other sources of mussel distribution data
provided from states/entities and external peer reviewers are included below and in Appendix B.

Importantly, because of the difficulty in determining true absence, data sources vary with regard
to the amount and type of absence data that are reported. Some states report both presence and
absence data (e.g., West Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, Georgia, Illinois, Ohio, New Mexico,
Missouri, Kansas, North Dakota, Montana, Arizona, and Idaho), while other states do not report
absence data (e.g., Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Indiana, Colorado, Utah, and
Wyoming). In some states,  absence data are reported only in certain circumstances. For example,
New York and South Dakota record absence data only if there is a previous record of species
presence, and Kentucky reports absence data only if they pertain to a federally-listed species.
Sources of Available Data

The three main sources of data that states and other entities rely on to make mussel
presence/absence decisions are published and unpublished literature, mussel and
macroinvertebrate surveys and databases, and data from other experts including environmental
consulting firms and agencies. Other sources include museum specimens, university survey data,
citizen reports, personal communications, and any other reliable source.

While several  states and other entities maintain databases to aid in mussel presence/absence
determinations, no single database contains all of the available mussel data. Even within a state
there may not be a single source of mussel  presence/absence information. For example, the
Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) is responsible for maintaining a
database of mussel distribution data, while the Virginia Natural Heritage Program maintains a
database only for species of concern. The two databases do not completely overlap, so neither
contains all available information for Virginia waters. Additionally, there may be other sources
of data within  a state that have not been included in a database such as peer-reviewed
publications, student theses, contractor reports,  and other gray literature. Furthermore, the
majority of available data have been generated through efforts to determine the presence of
threatened and endangered species rather than common species. Therefore, mussel
presence/absence data may be incomplete in any given database. Appendix B  lists some of the
databases and  literature and other important data sources that are available for locating mussel
presence/absence data.

Frequency of Data Collection

States survey mussel populations with varying frequency. Some states survey each year (e.g.,
Connecticut) or once every five years (e.g., West Virginia). Other states conduct occasional
surveys that may only target rare, threatened, endangered, or other high priority species (e.g.,
Kentucky and Maryland), and the frequency may be dependent on the availability of grant funds
and timing (e.g., Delaware). Still other states note mussel presence only when conducting regular
benthic surveys (e.g., North Carolina) or basin-wide surveys (e.g., Ohio). Some states (e.g.,
Wisconsin) conduct surveys in association with construction projects such as bridge crossings,
pipeline crossings, gravel dredging, channel maintenance, or any other project that would disturb
the bottom of the river. A number of states do not survey mussel populations, but there are
usually at least some records available in various sources for such states (see above and
Appendix B).

Historical and Current Data

At a minimum, to protect existing uses of the waterbody, the use of historical data should be
considered for presence determinations if the survey found mussels on or after November 28,
1975.9 This position is similar to that previously expressed by EPA in 1999 for determination of
the presence of early life stages (ELS) offish, which is quoted below:

   According to the Clean Water Act,  States and Tribes are to protect existing uses, and
   therefore should protect for the most sensitive uses that have occurred in a given waterbody
   since November, 1975. 40 CFR 131.12(a)(l) and 40 CFR 131.3(e). Hence, States and Tribes
   should consider both current and historical species that have used a waterbody for spawning
   and rearing since November, 1975. Even where water quality is protective of designated
   uses, the current species composition in a waterbody may not reflect all species that have
   used the waterbody for spawning or rearing since 1975. It is EPA's position that any ELS-
   absent provision should not prevent the return of any species associated with an existing or
   designated use. Therefore, States and Tribes should evaluate both current and historical  data
   back to November, 1975, in determining a presence or absence of sensitive life stages
   (Environmental Protection Agency, FRL-6513-6, Notice of availability, 64 Federal Register
   245 (December 22, 1999), pp. 71973-71980).

Accordingly, a state or tribe that has mussel presence survey data dating on or after November
28, 1975,  should assume mussels are present to protect existing uses.

Among states, the  definition of historical and current data varies. In general, "current data" are
less than 10-20 years old, while "historical data" are older than this range. However, some states
consider records older than 1970 to be historical. Similarly, West Virginia categorizes its data
into one of three different groupings: historical (information collected prior to 1975), so-called
"Taylor data"  (collected from 1977-1989), and new data (collected 1990-present).
9 Existing uses are "those uses actually attained in the water body on or after November 28, 1975, whether or not
they are included in the water quality standards." Existing uses are known to be "attained" when both the use and
the water quality necessary to support the use have been achieved (see

The use of historical and current data also varies among states and other entities. In some states,
data older than 10-20 years either do not carry as much weight or are not considered when
assessing current conditions in relation to regulatory decision-making (e.g., Georgia, New Jersey,
and Illinois). Likewise, Maryland assumes that data less than 20 years old are representative of
current conditions unless enough evidence is available to contradict that assumption. In Montana,
data older than 10 years are considered to be unreliable without backup verification. In contrast,
some entities use historical data dating back to 1919 (e.g., The Partnership for the Delaware
Estuary) and do not think that a specific time frame for acceptable data should be used due to the
recolonization potential of mussels.

Biologists began tracking and recording precise locations of imperiled and rare mussel species in
the 1970s and, in some locations, even before then. Some of these historical data have been
retained and used because they serve as a reference to show how mussel populations and
distributions have changed over time. Historical data may also prove to be the only available data
for some sites. Often, historical data are retained because of the difficulty and/or lack of ability to
conduct mussel surveys every year over the entire geographic range of the state. However,  a state
or tribe may determine that a long time frame for data acceptability is warranted due to the
longevity of mussels and the length of time it may take mussels to recolonize a site or waterbody.
Regardless of age and intended use, most state agencies and other entities retain all the data they

By evaluating the presence/absence of mussel occurrence data, the state or tribe may determine
that the pursuit of site-specific ammonia criteria using the Recalculation Procedure is not
warranted. A state or tribe may find that areas or sites at which mussels have been  found
historically or threatened or endangered mussels have been found may not be worth pursuing.
There may be situations where the abundance of occurrence data provides sufficient justification
to make a mussel presence determination. Conversely the lack of available information may not
provide enough justification to make a mussels-absent decision.  As with all survey data, the state
or tribe should be aware of the type of survey conducted and  its objectives and goals to
determine the appropriate conclusions that can be drawn from it.10 The applicability and
usefulness of information from previous  studies should be determined on a case-by-case basis,
but in many situations, such studies can provide useful information. EPA acknowledges,
however, that there may be situations in which some waterbodies have been thoroughly studied
specifically  for mussel absence (and absence data specifically have been recorded), and the use
of previous  survey results may provide sufficient justification to create a scientifically-defensible
record for a mussels-absent determination. Again, these situations should be determined on a
case-by-case basis, but the majority of states and tribes will likely need to conduct additional
mussel surveys to provide sufficient justification for a mussels-absent decision. To aid states and
tribes in this process, the information below is intended to provide an overview of the different
10 Not all occurrence data are the same. Depending on the type of survey conducted, not finding any mussels may be
a function of the study design and objective and not a true reflection of the species diversity at the site. For example,
most aquatic macroinvertebrate surveys are not designed for mussel detection, and a surveyor may not always record
mussel presence. Therefore caution should be used when considering benthic macroinvertebrate surveys for mussel-
absence determinations or as part of the rationale for mussel-absence records. In many cases, lack of mussel
presence in benthic macroinvertebrate surveys alone will not be sufficient rationale for demonstrating that mussels
are truly absent from a site.

kinds of mussel surveys with some recommendations of key elements that a good survey should
This section presents the general steps for conducting mussel surveys and provides summaries of
the various approaches and methods employed by states and other entities to determine whether
mussels are present or absent in waterbodies of various types. The steps include defining the
study objectives and choosing a sampling approach, design, and method. A proper
characterization of the site (e.g., size, depth of water, turbidity, and hard or soft-bottomed
substrate) is necessary to determine the best survey approach to meet the objective(s) of the
study before sampling is conducted.

In terms of making mussel presence and absence determinations, it is important to note that,
while less comprehensive studies can be used for presence determinations, they may not be
warranted or scientifically defensible for absence determinations. Therefore, states and tribes
may find it necessary  or worthwhile to initially survey mussels with a less comprehensive, lower
cost method and then  survey again with a more comprehensive method only where the initial
survey did not detect mussels. For example, a state or tribe may use brail bars or dredges to
confirm presence of freshwater mussels suspected in a large area of a river segment with relative
ease and over a short period of time. Thus, the state or tribe may find this two-step sampling
process less burdensome and resource intensive where the initial  survey detects mussels.

In the steps outlined below, the state or tribe has discretion to determine the appropriate amount
of rigor and effort needed to adequately justify a mussels-absent determination. However, to
successfully, accurately,  and precisely survey for freshwater mussels, especially where
populations are likely to occur at low densities, requires a substantial amount of time and effort
regardless of the methods used. The results of these surveys should be included in the decision
record so that the state or tribe can provide a clear justification for its decision to develop site-
specific criteria for a particular site. EPA anticipates that different surveys will require varying
levels of effort depending on the physical properties of the sites in question and on the density
and patchiness of any resident mussel populations.11 EPA will review site-specific ammonia
criteria and supporting documentation and either approve or disapprove such criteria depending
on the specific facts of the situation, which include the  defensibility of the state's or tribe's
mussels-absent determination.
The most important aspect of designing a mussel survey for a site is a careful consideration of
the objectives (Dunn 2000; Strayer and Smith 2003; Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
(WDNR) 2005). The specific objectives of the survey help determine the appropriate sampling
approach, design and method for the size of the site to be covered, any limitations of the survey,
11 In some cases, a less comprehensive survey may be appropriate for specific waterbodies (e.g., the waterbody is
outside the known range of certain mussel species, the waterbody is not connected hydrologically to any waterbody
known to contain populations of mussels, the waterbody is a first order headwater stream with unsuitable habitat,
and/or the waterbody is an arid waterbody subject to prolonged periods with no flow). All of these decisions should
be made on a case-by-case basis.

and the strength (i.e., scientific rigor) of the conclusions that can be drawn. The information
presented below is meant to highlight the important elements and nuances of conducting mussel
surveys so that states and tribes can better address the following study objective: determine
whether freshwater mussels in the Order Unionoida are present or absent at a particular site.
Other approaches are also included below as a means of evaluating their appropriateness and
utility in addressing other related study objectives.12
Four primary sampling approaches were identified through EPA's information collection efforts
for this TSD: reconnaissance, qualitative, semi-quantitative, and quantitative. These terms appear
to be used loosely, and many studies often utilize a combination of these different sampling
approaches to address various study objectives. The terms are used to convey the general scope
and type of effort involved.

Reconnaissance (Exploratory/Preliminary)

This approach involves a cursory visual and/or tactile search of the most promising habitats in a
waterbody to obtain a preliminary understanding of mussel presence or absence (Dunn 2000). It
is often used to determine if further study is warranted because it can reveal valuable information
(e.g., site characteristics, conditions, and hazards) before a more comprehensive survey is
undertaken (Strayer and Smith 2003). In the context of site-specific criteria, this approach may
be adequate to determine mussel presence, thus eliminating the  need for a more comprehensive
survey. Also, if fresh shells or live mussels are found, a site might be considered for further
investigation to determine family, genus, and species type(s), distribution, density, or community
characteristics depending on the study objectives.

This approach requires the surveyor to have some a priori knowledge of expected mussel
distribution and habitat requirements. For example, in low gradient systems, mussels may be
present in areas with high flow, while in high gradient systems,  mussels are more likely to be
found in flow refugia.


This primarily visual sampling approach tends to be more comprehensive than reconnaissance
surveys. This approach can be used to determine mussel presence, richness, and, to a limited
extent, density (Angelo et al. 2007; Dunn 2000). Often this approach is selected for use in a well-
defined area for a specific length of time, which is called a timed-search (Dunn 2000; WDNR
2005). Overall, this approach may be the best for detecting mussel presence or demonstrating a
12 In using the Recalculation Procedure, it may only be necessary to identify resident mussels to the order level.
However, in some situations, the state or tribe may decide to identify resident mussels to the species level because
the Recalculation Procedure may afford some limited flexibility even where mussels are present. The survey
approaches for these two objectives may be entirely different. EPA is including the additional information related to
study objectives other than presence/absence of mussels in Order Unionoida to assist those states that may choose to
identify mussels to a species level (i.e., study objective: determine what kind of mussels in Order Unionoida are
present) and/or define mussel presence/absence in terms of a density (i.e., study objective: determine how many
mussels in Order Unionoida are present per unit area).


reasonable probability of mussel absence. Smith (2006) provides specific guidance on the level
of effort necessary to detect rare species with high probability, which, in some cases, could be
directly applicable to support the adoption of site-specific criteria for ammonia. The approach
can also be used to gage the approximate level of effort necessary to perform quantitative mussel
surveys, particularly in low-density situations.

Qualitative sampling sometimes involves  excavation of sediment in selected habitats in addition
to a visual and tactile search of the substrate surface and adjoining shoreline area for live mussels
and spent shells materials (Angelo et al. 2007). Qualitative surveys can more easily canvass long
stream reaches, and when combined with  some level of substrate excavation, they can provide a
reasonable degree of assurance of mussel  presence or absence, especially in small streams
(Angelo etal. 2009).13


Semi-quantitative sampling entails sampling a given area both visually and tactually and often is
used to determine mussel distribution, species composition, and relative abundance (Dunn 2000;
McRae et al. 2004). This approach generally involves sampling the substrate surface along
transects or within grid cells such that an area may be searched systematically. Smith's (2006)
survey design for detecting rare mussels with high probability of detection provides another
example of a semi-quantitative sampling approach. Such approaches are not considered truly
quantitative because substrate is not excavated. A significant proportion of most mussel
communities tends to be buried  and will not be detected through sampling of the substrate
surface alone.


Quantitative sampling techniques are generally used to estimate freshwater mussel density,
relative species abundance, and/or age or size class distributions within individual mussel
populations (Dunn 2000). Quantitative sampling represents the most time consuming and labor
intensive form of sampling in part because it generally  entails systematic excavation of the
substrate (Dunn 2000; Miller and Payne 1993; Smith 2006; Smith et al. 2001; Strayer and Smith
2003). This type of sampling approach is generally not needed unless the study objective
includes defining mussel community metrics  or comparing these metrics over time.
The sampling design in a survey plan defines "what" is to be sampled in the survey. To
effectively address the objective(s) of the survey, a good survey plan will be explicit in terms of
what will be sampled and where sampling will occur in the waterbody.

The information summarized in this  section is largely based on the section titled "Sampling
Design" in^4 Guide to Sampling Freshwater Mussel Populations (Strayer and Smith 2003). Note
that virtually all of the literature and other information reviewed and summarized herein refer to
13 Because a substantial portion of the mussel community may be below the substrate and not found from visual only
searches, excavation may be necessary to determine all the mussel species present in the waterbody.


the use of one of the sampling designs described in the book, which provides an overview of
each specific sampling design and its limitations. Only the subset of those sampling designs
applicable to mussel presence/absence determinations is highlighted below.

Informal Sampling (Non-probabilistic)

Informal sampling includes reconnaissance, qualitative, and semi-quantitative sampling
approaches. This type of sampling is considered informal because it is not probability based and
cannot be used to  compare mussel communities over time or space like a formal (i.e.,
probabilistic) quantitative sampling design can. This approach to sampling may be useful in
preliminary survey approaches to determine mussel presence, absence, or distribution as well as
to obtain a relative understanding of species composition. It can also be used to define a polygon
for random sampling or define strata for a stratified sampling design.  This sampling design is
not, however, useful for estimating population size, relative abundance, or some other
community metrics.

Simple Random Sampling

Simple random sampling design divides the spatial area of interest into non-overlapping distinct
units of the same size. Then a random sample of those distinct units is surveyed for mussels. This
approach is different from informal  sampling because it allows for estimations of sampling
probabilities, which can then be used to calculate the variance  of the estimate. However, this
design may not be the most appropriate approach for mussel presence/absence determinations
because mussels can be clumped at  several spatial scales (Strayer and Smith 2003), and it is
inefficient at detecting mussels. Furthermore,  partially because of clumping, it is possible with
this approach to miss the mussel population present in the area and incorrectly label a waterbody
as having no mussels. In other words, because a simple random sample does not sample the
entire area, the subset of the area surveyed may not contain mussels even if the entire area does
contain  mussels.

Figure 1 displays an example of a simple random sample design; the site is divided into equally
sized units, and coordinates are selected at random indicating which units will be  sampled
(highlighted grey).


y 2

Distance along stream (x)

Randomly selected
coordinates (x, y)
Coordinates refer to the lower
left-hand corner of the square
Figure 1: Example of a simple random sampling design (adapted from Strayer and Smith

Systematic Sampling

This design is similar to simple random sampling except that the samples are spatially distributed
throughout the area such that relatively complete coverage of the site is achieved. In essence, a
small number (i.e., two to three) of random locations/coordinates are selected and then the
pattern is repeated throughout the survey area. This design can be used at many spatial scales,
from the placement of individual quantitative samples to the selection of qualitative sites along a
river. Systematic sampling with two or three random starts has been shown to be more effective
than simple random sampling (Pooler and Smith 2005) and is preferred for sampling rare,
spatially clustered populations in the absence of prior information on distribution.

Figure 2 displays  an example of a systematic sampling design with three random starts. The start
locations are chosen randomly, and additional samples are then selected at a specified distance (3
units in this example) from the start location and its subsequent selected locations. In Figure 2,
the start location and the units that are selected based on the specified distance  are all highlighted
the same color gray and numbered according to the start location. For example, the random start
location for starting coordinates "1, 0" is represented by "2-S," and the additional sample
locations are indicated by the number "2."


E 4
Q -














Distance along stream (x)
Randomly selected starting
coordinates (x, y)
0, 2 l-S
Coordinates refer to the lower
left-hand corner of the square
Figure 2: Example of a systematic sampling design (adapted from Strayer and Smith 2003)

Double Sampling

Double sampling can be applied to both qualitative and quantitative samples. In double sampling
for quantitative surveys, an observer samples a number of distinct units/quadrants using a visual
survey method in the upper part of the substrate and then samples a subset of those quadrants
again using excavation to detect mussels not visible at the surface.  This type of design can be
used to determine the percentage of the population that is buried compared to those at the
substrate surface. However, double sampling may still miss the target mussel population. As
stated above, because the entire area is not surveyed, the subset of the area surveyed may not
contain mussels even if the entire area does contain mussels. This problem has been solved by
some investigators by combining a double sampling design with a systematic sampling design
using multiple random starts.

This design is perceived by at least one expert peer reviewer to be the best for surveying a large
area and is considered to combine high levels of accuracy and precision with a feasible input of
time and funding. In fact, some literature suggests that this approach with specific  sample
quadrant sizes may be the best approach to find new mussel beds (Pooler and Smith 2005; Smith
et al. 2001; Vaughn et al. 1997). An example of this type of design for a mid-sized stream  is
provided in Appendix C, and it is considered an appropriate approach to surveying a large area.

Stratified Sampling

This sampling design involves dividing the sampling area into different strata, which can be
defined in any number of ways. For example, the study area could be divided by depth and the
cost of sampling at each depth. In this case, the more expensive diving sampling method (see
below) could be used in deep water, while a less expensive snorkeling/wading sampling method
could be used in the shallow water. The study area could also be divided into habitat regions or
areas (e.g., riffles and pools) where mussels are likely to be present versus those areas where

they are typically not present.  In each stratum, the mussel surveyor might choose a different
sampling design and sampling method. The stratified sampling design keeps the cost of the
survey low but ensures that high priority areas receive special attention.

Figure 3 displays an example of a stratified sample that divides the area into two zones: deep
water (highlighted gray) and shallow water (not highlighted). Sample locations are chosen
randomly with twice as many sample locations in the shallow water compared to the deep water.
Each sample location is indicated with an "x." This example illustrates where a less expensive
method sampling method (e.g., wading) is used in the shallow water (and is, therefore, able to
cover more sampling area) and a more expensive sampling method (e.g., diving) is used in the
deeper water.

"? -,
E 2
Ul X
ts 1
Q *








0123 4 5 6 7 £
Distance along stream (x)


Randomly selected
coordinates (x, y)
- water DeeP
>- Deep 6, 0
9, 1
9 10
Coordinates refer to the lower
left-hand corner of the square

5, 1
3, 2
Figure 3: Example of stratified sampling design with random site selection (adapted from
Strayer and Smith 2003)

Complete Coverage

Complete coverage entails sampling with sufficient effort to collect all or most mussels in a
study area and is typically limited to salvage efforts or intensive research projects. Surveyors
should consider the habitat damage that may ensue from the use of this method. Complete
coverage assumes the same sampling method will be used throughout the entire study area. A
challenge with this sampling design is that, depending on the type of sampling method, the cost
of the mussel survey can be prohibitively expensive on all but the smallest streams. In large
waterbodies, complete coverage may prove too costly to undertake and even impractical, but in
smaller waterbodies, this approach may be a viable option due to the lower cost of surveying
smaller areas.
14 This approach assumes that the survey designer has a thorough working knowledge of the preferred types of
habitat where mussels are likely to be present. Designs based on habitat preferences should be used with caution
because even experienced malacologists can be surprised where mussels are found. One reviewer noted finding
fatmuckets in small pool under abridge despite the rest of the stream being dry.

There are several different types of sampling methods for mussel surveys. In this section, the
sampling method is defined as how the mussel population will be surveyed. Often the sampling
method is tied to the sampling design (e.g., timed or distance transects are often combined with
either snorkeling or diving). Another key factor is the cost of each method, which varies greatly
by waterbody, locality, and the size of the site.

Table 1 presents general cost guidelines in terms of the level of effort required for various types
of survey sites/sampling methods and sampling approaches, with ' 1' being the least costly. The
units are  simply a level of effort, and actual costs would vary based on site-specific factors. As
mentioned above, the physical characteristics of the site will also help determine both the design
and methods used for sampling (e.g., it is often unrealistic to sample a large river site using a
complete coverage design, and therefore, some form of timed search along transects via diving or
a double  sampling design is often used).

Table  1:  Generalized costs (level of effort) for mussel survey types
Method or
Snorkeling or
This section is divided by rank from the least effective to the most effective method that might
be employed to sample the entire mussel population at a given site.15 However, while some of
the less comprehensive methods may not be useful to determine mussel absence, the low cost of
these methods may warrant their use in preliminary or exploratory surveys to determine mussel
presence. It should be noted that not all methods below are approved for use (in various survey
protocols) by different states or the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) due to
potential damage to habitat and species.

Shoreline Searches

Shoreline searches are useful in reconnaissance surveys. This method includes walking along the
waterbody looking for live mussels in the water and shells on the shore (Nedeau et al. 2009).
This approach is safe and easy and can be useful when the water levels are low (Nedeau et al.
2009). This method can include muskrat shell midden searches. Muskrats are capable of eating
large numbers of mussels and often leave the shells in neat piles (middens) along the stream bank
(Strayer and Smith 2003). However, because muskrats are selective eaters, the piles are of
limited use for species type and relative abundance (Dunn 2000; Strayer and Smith 2003). Figure
4 shows a photo of a muskrat shell midden. Other predators such as river otters, raccoons,
  Effective in this context means least likely to miss finding mussels and, therefore, least likely of leading to
inaccurate conclusions.

skunks, gulls, and shorebirds eat mussels and also leave spent shells along shorelines, which can
be used to infer presence. Additionally, floods typically deposit as many shells as they wash
away, which can persist for decades and result in large accumulations in depositional locations
and along shorelines.
Figure 4: Photo of a muskrat shell midden (Photo from Nedeau et al. 2009)

Overall, shoreline searches are the least expensive method for screening mussel presence or
absence. While it is not recommended to determine true mussel absence from a waterbody, it can
be useful in determining mussel presence.16 Where a shoreline search determines mussels are
present, a more comprehensive (and likely more expensive) method may not be warranted
depending on the objective(s) of the study.

Brail Bars and Dredges

Brail bars and dredges are also useful reconnaissance survey approaches and are commonly used
by commercial fishermen to collect mussels in a large area in a relatively short period of time. A
brail bar, used primarily in large rivers,  is dragged slowly by boat across the bottom of the
waterbody. The mussels clamp down on the brail hooks and are pulled up to the boat (Strayer
and Smith 2003). Figure 5C displays an image of a brail bar. A dredge, a shovel-like apparatus
used primarily in marine waters, is dragged by boat across the bottom of the waterbody to scoop
up the mussel population. The use of these two methods is limited by environmental
characteristics (i.e., water must be deep  enough for a power boat, there must not be too many
snags to impede equipment, and the substrate must not be too stony for dredges).
16 One expert peer reviewer noted that, in one half mile survey reach where hundreds of mussels were present in the
water, not one shell was seen on shore. The shells can wear out, be washed away during floods, or the appropriate
predators may not be present in the area.

Figure 5: Example of PONAR grab (B) and brail bar (C) (Image from Strayer and Smith

Both methods are similar in usefulness for mussel presence/absence surveys. It should be noted,
though, that these methods can be highly disruptive to the entire habitat and may lead to
mortality among mussels and other aquatic species present in the substrate. Results of a brail bar
are affected by brail hook type, substrate conditions, water temperature, time of day, turbidity,
species behavior, mussel size, gender, time of year, and collector experience (Dunn 2000). The
same area can be sampled several times under different conditions and produce different results
(Dunn 2000). Dredges are not widely used to sample mussels in freshwater but have similar
limitations as brail bars.1? Both methods are relatively inexpensive when compared to some other
sampling methods. The usefulness of these methods is  similar to that of shoreline searches
because they are relatively easy methods to determine mussel presence. With both techniques,
though, a more comprehensive method should be used  for making mussels-absent determinations
due to the wide variability in their results and ability to detect mussel presence.

Searches while Wading

This type of sampling can be used in reconnaissance or qualitative sampling approaches. It
describes a visual search for mussels that is conducted by wading in the waterbody and looking
with eyes alone for mussels. However, in some cases, it can be accompanied by tactile
searches.18 This method can be supplemented with the  use of glass-bottomed buckets called
17 However, dredges may be necessary in deep water where diving is not safe.
18 Tactile searches performed while wading include gently fanning away the sediment (where appropriate) and
trailing the fingertips along the substrate to feel for mussels.

aquascopes (Dunn 2000). The surveyor places his/her head in the bucket and views the bottom of
the waterbody through the glass bottom of the bucket, thereby eliminating the glare from the sun
on the water surface (Young et al. 2001). This method can cover a lot of ground quickly (Strayer
and Smith 2003) and can be effective in fast riffles too shallow for snorkeling. Figure 6 shows a
photo of surveyors using aquascopes while wading during a stream survey.
Figure 6: Example of an aquascope (Photo from Nedeau and Victoria 2003)

This method is most useful in clear, shallow (i.e., less than three feet) water (Nedeau et al. 2005)
because mussels are more difficult to detect in turbid water than in clear water. This method has
a high catch rate when the mussels are on the top of the substrate. However, this method is not as
useful when the mussels are small or for those species that bury deep in the sediment (Strayer
and Smith 2003). According to Strayer and Smith (2003), juvenile mussels are far more likely to
bury deeper than adults, and mussels in general are most likely to be buried during fall and
winter than in spring and summer. Additionally, a large part of the mussel population present
may often be buried. Stagliano (2010) confirmed this problem with visual only searches, noting
that mussels less than 30 millimeters will not be visible on the substrate surface and that visual
surveys tend to be biased toward larger individuals. The Ohio River Valley Ecosystem Team
(ORVET) Mollusk Subgroup assumed in their draft protocol for mussel surveys that only 50% of
the mussel community is visibly present at the substrate surface (ORVET 2004). This
assumption depends a lot on the species and age of the mussel, time of year, and the habitat
characteristics, but it is still assumed that a substantial fraction of the mussel community may be
out of sight. This visual limitation can be compounded by species whose shell sculpture (i.e.,
shape) may make them hard to distinguish from gravel and cobble (Miller and Payne 1993).


Snorkeling can be used in reconnaissance, qualitative, semi-quantitative, and  quantitative
sampling approaches. The objective is for the observer's eyes and hands to be as close to the
substrate as possible. Snorkeling should be limited to water depths less than an arm's length
(approximately one meter). Snorkeling is similar to wading and the use of aquascopes except
that, depending on the waterbody depth, some tactile methods may also be used. A tactile search
can include gently running a finger over the sediment, fanning away fine sediment, and removing
loose non-embedded material (Smith et al. 2001; Strayer and Smith 2003). Snorkeling is slower
than wading and aquascopes but can be used in deeper water.

Snorkeling may be a more efficient and suitable method for detecting small or cryptic mussels
than wading and aquascopes because it should be a slower and, therefore, more comprehensive
search method. However, there is no good documentation to confirm this performance (Strayer
and Smith 2003). Snorkeling and tactile methods may be more effective when surveying in fine-
grained sediment (e.g., sand and mud) than in coarse-grained sediment (e.g., cobble) because it is
easier to detect mussels tactilely than visually in the fine-grained sediment. On the other hand,
snorkeling can be useful in coarse-grained sediment to visually distinguish mussels from cobble
or other small rocks. Despite possible advantages, snorkeling is still unable to detect all of the
mussel community located deep in the substrate.
Diving is almost identical to snorkeling in its utility but can be used in deeper waters (e.g.,
greater than one meter) (Smith et al. 2001).19 Diving is more labor intensive than snorkeling but
allows the surveyor to spend more time closer to the substrate, thereby improving the
opportunity and ability to detect mussels. In fact, Dunn (2000) states that diving may be the
method least biased by sampling conditions when compared to wading, brail bar, and dredge
searches because of the greater amount of time the surveyor can spend closer to the substrate.
While diving is similar to snorkeling in terms of its effectiveness for detecting mussels, the main
differences in these two methods are the depth  of the waterbody that is being sampled and the
cost of each method, with diving being significantly more expensive.20 Diving using self-
contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA) also has limitations, and in navigable
waterways and deep mussel beds in the southeast, surface-supplied diving may be the safest and
most efficient method due to boat traffic and other hazards. Because surface-supplied diving
often utilizes diver-surface communications, many sampling tasks can be accomplished in situ
by trained surveyors, and the data can be relayed to the surface and recorded.


Excavation is the most effective sampling method that is able to detect the entire mussel
community; however, this method is also the most invasive and time consuming. Excavation
involves digging up a small amount of substrate (usually 10-15 centimeters), depending on
habitat and target species) and sieving (often 2-8 millimeters) the material to find all buried and
non-buried mussels.  This method is the slowest of all the methods and, therefore, usually the
most costly. Substrate is usually excavated by hand or trowel via wading, snorkeling, or diving
depending on water depth and placed into a mesh bag or bucket. The material is then sieved on
the shore, boat, or in situ. Excavation can also include the use of grabs (see Figure 5B above) in
areas where site characteristics (e.g., flow and depth) may make collecting samples by hand
difficult. Due to the increased invasiveness and the amount of time needed to sample, excavation
is primarily conducted on a subset of transects  or quadrants in quantitative surveys (i.e., double
sampling) and limited to  selected habitats (e.g., gravelly riffles) during qualitative sampling.
19 In this context, diving may include surface-supplied air, SCUBA, or other supplied air devices.
20 This assertion may be dependent on site conditions because diving may be used in less than ideal conditions,
particularly in poor light and high turbidity. Furthermore, diving is slower than snorkeling, and therefore, the time
available to perform sampling can limit this method's effectiveness due to less area being sampled.


Excavation of an entire reach would rarely be feasible but may be the only true quantitative
means of collecting mussels depending on the objective(s) of the study.
In addition to the four steps above, there are a number of other considerations that should be
taken into account for a well-designed and well-executed mussel survey.

Time of Year

Surveyors should sample the site when they are most likely to find mussels. Some sources stress
the importance of sampling only from spring through early fall (i.e., April to October) (Angelo et
al. 2009;  ORVET 2004;  Shearer et al. 2005; Smith et al. 2001; Sovell and Guralnick 2004;
USFWS and VDGIF 2008; WDNR 2005). During the April to October time period, conditions
are best for viewing live mussels in the substrate because river flow tends to be low with high
water clarity (Smith et al. 2001). In addition, during the summer, high proportions of some
mussels are at the substrate surface rather than buried deep in the sediment (Amyot and Downing
1991; Balfour and Smock 1995), and during the cooler months, mussels tend to be located
deeper in the substrate, which makes them more difficult to find by visual methods alone
(USFWS and VDGIF 2008).  The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR)
guidelines for sampling mussels suggest that surveys be conducted in Wisconsin waters from
mid-June to late September when mussels are more active (WDNR 2005). Furthermore replicate
surveys performed in different seasons or in different years may provide a greater assurance that
mussels are truly absent at a given  site.

Special Considerations for Small or Rare Species and Vertical Migration

Relatively recent research by Chris Eads and Jay Levine (2007) at North Carolina State
University shows that smaller (and sometimes rare) mussel species tend to spend  less time on the
sediment surface than larger mussel species, possibly as a means to avoid predation or being
swept away by the current. However, vertical  migration through the substrate can be affected for
any species by water temperature, time of year (e.g., males releasing sperm and females
preparing to broadcast glochidia), and changing water levels.  At least some excavation should be
used when sampling in cooler water, when looking for endangered/rare species, and/or other site-
specific circumstances in which the state or tribe decides that excavation is necessary to
defensibly demonstrate mussel  absence.

Visibility Requirements

The ORVET (2004) draft protocol  identifies a minimum visibility requirement of 0.5 meters with
or without lights at the depth of the survey.  The protocol  specifies that the surveyor must
quantify the  actual visibility.  If the visibility prerequisite is not met, either the survey must be
rescheduled or a different protocol should be used (e.g., a more intensive quantitative survey). In
some rivers, this visibility level will never be realized, and the surveyor will need to depend on
tactual collection. Tactual searches can be less efficient than visual searches, and  some
excavation and sieving of substrate might be considered.


The majority of mussel sampling methods include some level of visual search and the ability to
identify, by sight alone, a mussel when encountered in the substrate. Therefore, it is important to
have surveyors or surveying crews who are experienced with mussel sampling and have expert
knowledge of the species habitat and life history. Such experience is crucial because it is often
difficult to find small, juvenile, or cryptic mussels and distinguish them in the substrate. An
experienced sampler will also be able to identify sections of the sample area that will most likely
support mussel populations. Inexperienced collectors can also be utilized, but their work may
need to be calibrated by quantitative sampling, sampling paired with an experienced collector for
an initial period, or sampling the area again by an experienced investigator. In Virginia, only
qualified, pre-approved mussel surveyors can conduct surveys (USFWS and VDGIF 2008).
Those not pre-approved must submit their qualifications before conducting any survey.

The need for experienced and qualified mussel investigators is also highlighted in the Freshwater
Mussel Survey Protocol for the Southeastern Atlantic Slope and Northeastern Gulf Drainages in
Florida and Georgia (Carlson et al. 2008). In this protocol, surveyors must have sufficient
knowledge of the mussel  species likely present in the area as well as the basin they propose to
survey. This knowledge includes species-specific biology and ecological requirements and the
ability to identify freshwater mussels (Carlson et al. 2008).

In addition to the general academic knowledge surveyors should possess, surveyors should have
adequate field experience, which includes documented field time; the ability to execute mussel
survey methods independently; the ability to locate and identify federally-listed species; and
experience in the safe care and handling of threatened, endangered, or candidate mussels. This
knowledge and experience  should be documented, and a letter of recommendation may be
requested prior to any surveys being conducted (Carlson et al. 2008). Some external peer
reviewers suggested that having experienced mussel surveyors may be the single most important
aspect of mussel sampling.  Experienced surveyors can bring more rigor to a qualitative survey
and, in some cases, reduce the necessity for conducting formal quantitative surveys. States and
tribes may want to consider requiring that all mussel surveys performed for purposes of utilizing
the Recalculation Procedure be conducted by an experienced individual or team, especially when
the results are used to justify a "mussels-absent" determination.

Appropriate Permits

Surveyors must have appropriate permits from state and federal officials before the survey is
conducted.21 State permits may be required because some states (e.g., Virginia) are responsible
for the conservation and management of all freshwater mussel species within the state. However,
federal permits may also be required because the USFWS is responsible for the conservation and
management of all federally-listed mussel species. Permits for waterbodies potentially containing
federally-listed species are  necessary because the USFWS (and some states like Virginia) control
unlawful take of threatened and endangered species. Under Section 7 of the Endangered Species
21 In some areas of the country, it may be necessary to consult with the state fish and wildlife agencies to ensure that
mussel surveys do not disturb native fish spawning areas (i.e., salmonid egg redds) or other aquatic species because
mussel sampling often involves some disturbance to the substrate.


Act, take is defined as harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture or collect, or
to attempt to engage in any such conduct. The USFWS views mussel surveys as harassing
mussel species and, thus, could be considered "take." Some states like South Carolina only
require a fishing permit to conduct mussel studies.

A good survey will include coordination with state game and fisheries or natural resources
departments and the USFWS, especially if there is potential for federally-listed species to be
present at the site. Additionally, many states now have mussel sampling protocols that should be
followed (e.g., see Appendix C for a summary of West Virginia's mussel survey protocols).
From time to time, field personnel participating in mussel surveys may encounter potentially
dangerous situations. In addition to the routine possibility of automobile, boating, or equipment
accidents, surveyors may encounter aggressive animals, belligerent people, surface waters
contaminated with toxic substances  or infectious microorganisms, swift and/or deep water,
uneven and/or slippery surfaces, submerged obstacles, dangerous weather (e.g., lightening, heavy
rain, strong wind, high heat index), or other threatening situations. Such situations could
potentially lead to injuries or illnesses and, from a quality assurance perspective, deprive field
crews of the services of valuable members. To minimize these risks, field personnel should be
cognizant of the potential safety issues involved in sampling at a particular site and observe any
safety requirements set forth in the sampling protocol or established standard operating
procedures. Additionally, field personnel should plan ahead and take proper precautions, which
may include the following actions, to minimize potential risks and be prepared in the event of an
emergency or accident:

       Sample in crews of at least two individuals that remain within hearing distance.
       Carry fully charged cellular phones.
       Demonstrate familiarity with applicable safety procedures and the use of available safety
    -   Obtain certification in adult cardiopulmonary resuscitation and basic first aid.
       Obtain any necessary certification with the use of particular sampling equipment or
       methods (e.g., SCUBA).
    -   Equip vehicles and vessels with appropriate safety gear including first aid kits, fire
       extinguishers, spare tires and tire changing equipment, rain gear, road reflectors and/or
       flares, flashlights and batteries, life vests, and flotation devices.
       Maintain vehicles and vessels in proper operating condition.
This checklist provides a list of key elements that should be considered when selecting or
reviewing a suitable protocol for determining whether mussels are present or absent at a
particular site. This information is provided as general guidance and does not necessarily mean
that state and tribal water quality criteria based on a protocol that contains all of the elements
below will be approved by EPA. EPA reviews and either approves or disapproves new or revised
state and tribal water quality criteria on a case-by-case basis.

Preliminary Information

     The surveyor/contractor is qualified to survey the geographic area, waterbody type, and
n    potential mussel fauna of the region (i.e., The surveyor/contractor has been pre-approved to
     conduct mussel surveys in the region/state and has provided adequate
     credentials/certifications including number of hours worked or trained, etc.).

n    The objective of the study is clearly stated.

n    The state or tribal definitions of presence and absence are clearly defined.

     The waterbody or watershed/region of interest was investigated to determine if any
     occurrence data (via historical records, other survey data, etc.) indicate mussels are/were
     present. [Note: Records,  databases, studies etc. that were searched should be explicitly
     stated along with the results, if any]. In systems influenced by anthropogenic impacts, it
     may be beneficial to include information from  similar nearby waterbodies, and to include
     waters upstream and downstream from dischargers.

     The surveyor/contractor has all appropriate state and federal permits (e.g., in the case of a
     rare species being found).

     A thorough study plan has been developed with proper quality  assurance/quality control
     elements and a safety plan.

     The study plan has been prepared in cooperation with, reviewed by, or approved by an
n    individual with demonstrated expertise in conducting mussel studies as well as a state
     natural resources or federal U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service official.

Study Design

     The study area is thoroughly delineated (i.e., a map has been created showing all aspects of
n    relevance within the area of interest such as study boundaries, vertical and horizontal in-
     stream demarcations,  quadrats/cells to be sampled,  etc.).

     The study area is thoroughly described (e.g., coordinates of location, qualitative and
     quantitative instream features, water quality, channel stability, impoundments, riparian
     features, road crossings, and other unique natural and anthropogenic features) in relation to
     the stream/segment that would be subject to any resulting site-specific criterion.

     If the study area does not encompass the entire site for which site-specific criteria are to be
n    developed, the study plan explains how the results of the survey can be extrapolated to the
     entire site.

     The survey method is thoroughly described and appropriate for the waterbody and potential
n    mussel fauna present, and relevant research studies are cited to support the sampling
     approach, design, and method.

      The appropriate state and federal authorities/experts have reviewed and approved the

      The method includes more than one surveyor, and surveyor names are provided with an
      indication of the level of training or experience of each surveyor.

      The proposed sampling date(s) fall within the recommended time frame for the region and
 n    mussel fauna potentially present (e.g., April to October or other time frame based on
      current research information).


      A final report has been prepared containing author contact information, study objective(s),
      and a thorough description of protocol, survey results/findings, and conclusions.

      All forms/field data sheets have been made readily available, upon request, for quality

      A provision for continued monitoring of the site/stream segment is included in the study
 n    plan if results indicate that mussels are absent. The provision stipulates the return
      frequency and protocol and provides a scientific justification.

      A provision for documentation with appropriate authorities and archives (e.g., U.S. Fish
 n    and Wildlife Service, state natural heritage programs, academic institutions) is included in
	the study plan  if results indicate that mussels are present.	
 In the case of ammonia, where a state or tribe can demonstrate that mussels are absent on a site-
 specific basis, the Recalculation Procedure may be used to remove the mussel species from the
 national criteria dataset to better represent the species present at the site. The scope of this effort
 involves gathering the appropriate data, creating a list of species that occur at the site (i.e., a
 resident species list), comparing that resident species list to the species list provided in Aquatic
 Life Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Ammonia - Freshwater 2013  (USEPA 2013 a), and then
 carrying out the step-wise process of deleting (or retaining) taxa from the national toxicity
 dataset [see Revised Deletion Process for the Site-Specific Recalculation Procedure for Aquatic
 Life Criteria (USEPA 2013b)]. Standard procedures are used to recalculate site-specific acute
 and chronic criteria values using the site-specific (resident) species dataset. Due to the
 complexity of the relationship between ammonia toxicity and pH and temperature across
 different aquatic organisms, EPA has recalculated site-specific criteria removing mussels from
 the national dataset and provided these values in Appendix N of Aquatic Life Ambient Water
 Quality Criteria for Ammonia-Freshwater 2013 (USEPA 20103 a) . For convenience and
 consistency, states and tribes may propose these values directly for site-specific criteria, as
 appropriate, for sites at which the state or tribe determines that mussels are absent.

For example, many of the commonly occurring freshwater bivalves (e.g., pea clam) are more
closely related to the veneroid (i.e., Order Veneroida) fingernail clam Musculium (which is the
fourth most sensitive genus in the national dataset for the chronic criterion) than to the unionid
(i.e., Order Unionoida) mussels Lampsilis and Villosa (which are the two most sensitive genera
in the national dataset for the chronic criterion). EPA presumes that for the majority of sites
where all bivalves present are more closely related to Musculium than to Lampsilis and Villosa
(i.e., where mussels in Order Unionoida are absent at the site), the Recalculation Procedure may
be used to remove Lampsilis and Villosa from the dataset because they would not be
representative of the species present at the site. The retention of Musculium in the dataset would
represent the veneroid bivalves present at the site, so the veneroid bivalves would still be
protected if Lampsilis and Villosa were removed from the dataset. However, at sites where both
unionid and veneroid bivalves are present, all three bivalves in the national dataset (i.e.,
Lampsilis, Villosa, and Musculium) would be retained because they would represent the species
present at the site. The Recalculation Procedure describes how to compare the taxa at the site
with the taxa in the national criteria dataset.

The number of tested genera (N) in the criteria calculations must be updated where genera such
as Lampsilis and Villosa are removed from  the dataset. For example, if only the two unionid
mussels are removed from the dataset for the national chronic ammonia criterion, N would be
reduced from 16 genera in the national dataset to 14 genera in the site-specific dataset.
As discussed earlier, when choosing an appropriate site-specific criterion, a state or tribe must be
mindful of downstream waters. For example, as with all designated uses and criteria in a state's
or tribe's WQS, 40 CFR § 131.10(b) states the following:

   In designating uses of a water body and the appropriate criteria for the uses, the State shall
   take into consideration the water quality standards of downstream waters and shall ensure
   that its water quality standards provide for the attainment and maintenance of the water
   quality standards of downstream waters.

States and tribes should take into account downstream waters when they consider any changes to
site-specific criteria at a given site.
Pursuant to 40 CFR § 131.20, each state or tribe is required to review its water quality standards,
which include site-specific criteria, at least once every three years. However, one peer reviewer
of this draft TSD considers two years to be a prudent time frame upon which an "absent" finding
may still be valid. The reasons for re-evaluating a "mussels-absent" finding are many, the first
being that juvenile mussels spend at least the first year of life buried deeply in the substrate.
Thus, juvenile mussels may be missed by certain sampling methods (e.g., qualitative sampling
via brailing) as might other species that are able to tolerate more silted conditions  such as many
of the western Anodonta. Additionally, the proportion of mussels at the surface of the substrate
varies greatly depending on water temperature, mussel gender, mussel species, and time of year.
Again, these may be missed by certain sampling methods. Finally, not only do smaller species
spend less time at the sediment surface, vertical migration through the substrate can be affected

in general for any species by water temperature, time of year (e.g., males may be releasing sperm
and gravid females may be preparing to broadcast glochidia), and changing water levels. All
these factors contribute to a high degree of year-to-year variability with regard to sampling
efficiency. Because the Recalculation Procedure states that species that occur at the site cannot
be determined by a one-time sampling event, a state or tribe may find it necessary or beneficial
to sample over a two- or three-year time period (or more) and use the results of multiple surveys
to bolster a mussels-absent decision.

Table 2 below illustrates why "mussels-absent" findings from mussel surveys should have a
limited lifespan. It shows the difference in mussel presence for several mussel species from 2006
to 2012 in a segment of Craig Creek in Virginia as part of a relocation study for on-going ford
maintenance activities.  While it is clear from this table that sampling efficiency differs greatly
from one year to the next, the results vary from year to year and within seasons. At the site, up to
six species were found in every year of sampling except 2007, when no mussel species were
found even though they had been documented as present in other years using the same sampling
methods (i.e., timed searches). Had a single survey been used to  determine mussel absence in
2007, the present mussel population would not have been detected, which is not indicative of the
true characteristic of the waterbody. This example also suggests that a single mussel survey may
not accurately characterize the waterbody. It may be that mussels were buried or field conditions
were difficult for sampling in 2007.

Table 2:  Mussel survey data for the Carter's Ford segment of Craig Creek in Virginia
(Johnson and Neves 2012)
Number of Individuals found at Carter's Ford in Craig Creek, VA.
June 20 10
August 20 10
July 20 12
Given the above and the fact that a substantial fraction of the mussel community may be out of
sight during sampling, states and tribes should consider stipulating return frequency and the
appropriate survey method if no mussels are found during a particular survey, especially if the
first survey does not find any mussel species. Requiring new or multiple surveys over a specified
time, especially when a survey returns a finding of "absent" and before a "mussels-absent"
decision (for the purposes of site-specific criteria) is made, not only helps ensure that mussel
colonization or recolonization is documented, it also increases the probability that juvenile
mussels that were initially missed in an earlier survey (because they were buried and/or too small

to be detected) will have grown substantially such that they are more likely to be found in
subsequent surveys.

West Virginia's mussel survey protocols (Clayton et al.  2013) states that survey data collected at
a specific site will be considered valid for five years from the date the survey was conducted. A
shorter time frame was selected for the Draft Freshwater Mussel Guidelines for Virginia
(USFWS and VDGIF 2008), where a negative survey (i.e., no mussels found) is only valid for 2

When considering any stipulations on return frequency/re-evaluation, states and tribes should
recall that adoption of site-specific criteria is subject to full public participation requirements.
After adoption, additional public review of a site-specific criterion could be accomplished in
conjunction with the public review required for permit issuance.
This technical support document provides a basic overview of the considerations and nuances
that states and tribes should be aware of in demonstrating mussel absence for the purposes of
developing site-specific criteria for ammonia using either the alternate criteria values provided in
Appendix N of the 2013 national ammonia criteria recommendations or the updated
Recalculation Procedure. In particular, this document attempts to address most of the issues that
are important for a state or tribe to contemplate when evaluating whether mussels are absent at a
site.  Some of these items include delineating the site where the site-specific criteria apply,
creating a scientifically-defensible definition of mussel presence and absence, reviewing and
analyzing previous survey records,  and the steps involved in designing and conducting mussel
studies. EPA does not advocate one approach over another to make these decisions but, in the
process of reviewing a state's or tribe's WQS, will evaluate whether the site-specific criteria and
the methods used to derive them are scientifically defensible, sufficient to protect the designated
uses, provide for the attainment and maintenance of downstream standards, and are consistent
with the CWA and WQS regulations.

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GFP Report 2005-08. National Park Service - Department of Interior. O'Neil, Nebraska.

Smith, D.R., R.F. Villella, and D.P. Lemarie. 2001. Survey protocol for assessment of
endangered freshwater mussels in the Allegheny River, Pennsylvania. J. N. Amer. Benthol. Soc.
20(1): 118-132.

Smith, D.R. 2006. Survey designs for detecting rare freshwater mussels. J. N. Amer.  Benthol.
Soc. 25(3): 701-711.

Sovell, J.R. and R. Guralnick. 2004. Montane mollusk and crustacean survey of Western
Colorado 2003 annual report. Colorado Division of Wildlife. 19 pp.

Stagliano, D. 2010. Freshwater mussels in Montana: comprehensive results from 3 years of SWG
funded surveys. Report to Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks. Montana Natural
Heritage Program. Helena, Montana. 74 pp.

Strayer, D.L. and J. Ralley. 1993. Microhabitat use by an assemblage of steam-dwelling
unionaceans (Bivalvia)  including two rare species ofAlasmidonta. J. N. Amer. Benthol. Soc. 12:

Strayer, D.L. and D.R. Smith. 2003. A guide to sampling freshwater mussel populations.
American Fisheries Society Monograph 8. 110 pp.

United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). 1984. Guidelines for deriving
numerical aquatic site-specific water quality criteria by modifying national criteria. EPA-600/3-
84-099 orPB85-121101. National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA.

United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). 1985. Guidelines for deriving
numerical national water quality criteria for the protection of aquatic organisms and their uses.
PB85-227049. National Technical Information Service,  Springfield, VA.

United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). 1994a. Water quality standards
handbook: second edition. EPA-823-R-94-005a. National Technical Information Service,
Springfield, VA. Available at: www.epa.gov/wqshandbook

United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). 1994b. Interim guidance on
determination and use of water-effect ratios for metals. Appendix B. EPA-823-B-94-001 or
PB94-140951. National Technical Information Service,  Springfield, VA.

United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). 1999. 1999 Update of ambient water
quality criteria for ammonia. EPA-822-R-99-014. National Technical Information Service,
Springfield, VA.

United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). 2013a. Aquatic life ambient water
quality criteria for ammonia - freshwater 2013. EPA-822-R-13-001. National Technical
Information Service, Springfield, VA.

United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). 2013b. Revised deletion process for
the site-specific recalculation procedure for aquatic life criteria. EPA-823-R-13-001. National
Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (USFWS
and VDGIF). 2008. Draft freshwater mussel guidelines for Virginia. 13 pp.

Vaughn, C.C., C.M. Taylor, and KJ. Eberhard. 1997. A comparison of the effectiveness of timed
searches vs. quadrat sampling in mussel surveys. In: K.S. Cummings, A.C. Buchanan, C.A.
Mayer, and TJ. Naimo (Eds.). Conservation and management of freshwater mussels II:
initiatives for the future. Proceedings of aUMRCC symposium, 16-18 October 1995, St Louis,
Missouri. Upper Mississippi River Conservation Committee, Rock Island, Illinois, pp. 157-162.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR). 2005. Guidelines for sampling freshwater
mussels in wadeable streams. Final Report No. 0092-01-09. Wisconsin Department of
Transportation. Madison, Wisconsin. 57 pp.

Young, M.R., PJ. Cosgrove, L.C. Hastie, and B. Henniger. 2001. A standardized method for
assessing the status of freshwater mussels in clear, shallow rivers. J. Moll. Stud. 67: 395-396.

Appendix A: How to Use NatureServe© Explorer to Query Mussel
Distribution Data

I. What is NatureServe© Explorer?

NatureServe© is a non-profit conservation organization whose mission is to provide a scientific
basis for informed decisions on managing natural resources. It represents an international
network of biological inventories operating in North and South America including all 50 U.S.
states. The objective scientific information about species and ecosystems developed by
NatureServe© is used by conservation groups, government agencies, corporations, academia,
and the public. NatureServe© Explorer is a product of NatureServe© and is the searchable
database for information on more than 70,000 plants, animals, and ecosystems of the U.S. and

Disclaimer information from NatureServe©:

Trademark, Copyright, Citation Guidelines, Restrictions on Use, and Information Disclaimer.


All species and ecological community data presented in NatureServe Explorer at
http://www.natureserve.org/explorer were updated to be current with NatureServe's central
databases as of October 2012.


This report was printed on June 21, 2013

Trademark Notice:

"NatureServe," NatureServe, NatureServe Explorer, the NatureServe logo,  and all other names of
NatureServe programs referenced herein are trademarks of NatureServe. Any other product or
company names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Copyright Notice:

Copyright © 2012 NatureServe, 4600 N. Fairfax Dr., 7th Floor, Arlington Virginia 22203,
U.S.A. All Rights Reserved. Each document delivered from this server or web site may contain
other proprietary notices and copyright information relating to that document. The following
citation should be used in any published materials that reference the web site.

    Citation for web site data including State Distribution, Watershed,  and Reptile Range maps:
   NatureServe. 2012. NatureServe Explorer:  An online encyclopedia of life [web application].
    Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available
    http://www.natureserve.org/explorer. (Accessed: June 21, 2013).

Restrictions on Use:

Permission to use, copy, and distribute documents delivered from this server is hereby granted
under the following conditions:
The above copyright notice must appear in all copies. Any use of the documents available from
this server must be for informational purposes only and in no instance for commercial purposes.
Some data may be downloaded to files and altered in format for analytical purposes; however,
the data should still be referenced using the citation above. No graphics available from this
server can be used, copied, or distributed separate from the accompanying text. Any rights not
expressly granted herein are reserved by NatureServe. Nothing contained herein  shall be
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Information Warranty Disclaimer:

All documents and related graphics provided by this server and any other documents that are
referenced by or linked to this server are provided "as is" without warranty as to  the currentness,
completeness, or accuracy of any specific data. NatureServe hereby disclaims all warranties and
conditions with regard to any documents provided by this server or any other documents that are
referenced by or linked to this server including, but not limited to, all implied warranties and
conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement.
NatureServe makes no representations about the suitability of the information delivered from this
server or any other documents that are referenced by or linked to this server. In no event shall
NatureServe be liable for any special, indirect, incidental, consequential damages or for damages
of any kind arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information contained
in any documents provided by this server or in any other documents  that are referenced by or
linked to this server under any theory of liability used. NatureServe may update or make changes
to the documents provided by this server at any time without notice;  however, NatureServe
makes no commitment to update the information contained herein. Because the data in the
central databases are continually being updated, it is advisable to refresh data retrieved at least
once a year after its receipt. The data provided is for planning, assessment,  and informational
purposes. Site-specific projects or activities should be reviewed for potential environmental
impacts with appropriate regulatory agencies. If ground-disturbing activities are  proposed on a
site, the appropriate state natural heritage program(s) or conservation data center can be
contacted for a site-specific review of the project area (see Visit Local Programs at

II. What data are available in  NatureServe© Explorer?

NatureServe© Explorer contains data on plants, vertebrates, invertebrates, and ecological units
(associations and systems). Users can search by scientific or common names of species; plant or
animal group; location by state,  county or watershed; or conservation status.

For each species, the data available to users include the following:

          •  Distribution data and maps
          •  Images
          •  U.S. invasive species impact rank
          •  Economic attributes
          •  Life histories and conservation needs

For each ecological unit, the data available to users include the following:

          •  Classification
          •  Global conservation status
          •  Distribution
          •  Vegetation structure
          •  Dynamic processes

III. How Can Searches be Performed Using NatureServe© Explorer?

          •  Name (Common name, Species, or Species Group)
          •  Location (U.S. States & Canadian Provinces, U.S. Counties, or U.S. Watersheds)
          •  Status (conservation status)
          •  Any combination of the three items above

[NOTE]: Functionality of this website is designed for use with Internet Explorer (version 5.0 or
newer) or Netscape (version 4.06 or newer) browsers, and JavaScript 1.2 is required to run data
searches. However, the steps outlined below were also tested with Firefox, Safari, and Chrome
browsers, and all browsers preformed adequately except where noted below. Most of the
instructions are also found in the help menus on the NatureServe© website, and the steps
outlined below are presented in a similar fashion.

IV. Beginning a plant or animal search
  1.  From the NatureServe© Explorer home page
      (www.natureserve .org/explorer),
  2.  Click Search.
  3.  Click the tab for Plants and Animals.
  4.  Click the tab for Name, Location, or Status.
  (You can search by one or any combination of
  these in any order.)

[NOTE]:  Only the two most applicable searches for
mussel distribution queries are presented below (i.e.,
searches by Name and Location).
   Tips for name searches:

        *  Use a singular name, never plural.
          NatureServe Explorer searches by a
          scientific or common name, which is
          always singular.
        *  Use wildcards (*) with partial names.
        *  Use AND/OR for multiple word
        *  Use ignore punctuation to broaden
          your search.
V. Searching by Name
   1.  In the Plants/Animals tab, click Name.
  2.  Type the scientific or common name of a
      plant or animal under Search by Name.
  3.  Click
        •    Scientific for only scientific names.
        •    Common for only common names.
        •    Either for either scientific OR
             common name.

      Or, you can search by uploading a Comma-
      Separated (.csv) file.

      Or, you can search by group in the And/Or
      Search by Group field, (e.g. mussel) [It is
      necessary to click Find Group Below or
      Next, when using this approach].

  4.  Click Search Now to retrieve all the
      elements that match the criteria [Use any
  5.  View the results.
                        Welcome to MDMSIVW
                        information on mure than 7
                        of tfw United itatts an-d La
                        depth coverage far we ar-a
                                                                 p Jn IJ Data R
                                                             NatureServe explorer species and
                                                             ecological community data updated
                                                             October 2012.

                                                                   n Animal Distribution
           .Hil"T,i|-. i ru.rii ",,.
 inr lu.-li- W.i'Jitnrjti)

 of i-sn a. wildlife.
 HaturaSarve Today
                                                                                                     S for thouur.ii a* :£*-:«
                                        ; | FHdbacfc 1 0(ScK
                                  !."*. E^-v.-r 5.5 ,--
 Use o
                                                              Location }

                                                         Search bytocatfon©

                                                         ChaafM nnc nl Hiirw; llnint JotNilicui M-.iirtir:

                                                           • U.S. SMw t CamfiBi
                                                             1- •'••' ' '"-I ' '"•
                                                         U.S. States & Canadian Provinces Search
                                                         Wjlt* ' »»» i IOOK*I OH!  W HCB«" **Ol |JM»«IM ihrtkt
VI. Searching by Location
  1.   In the Plants/Animals tab, click Location.
  2.   Click on the type of location search you want.
        •   U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
        •   U.S. Counties
        •   U.S. Watershed

[NOTE]: You can only choose one type of location
search in each search.

Searching by U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
  1.   Click all the states and provinces where you
      want to find plants and animals.
  2.   Click Search Now to retrieve all the elements
      that match the criteria.
  3.   View the results.

[NOTE]: If you choose more than one state/province,
you will need to choose ANY (logical OR).

Searching by U.S. Counties
Selecting U.S.  Counties using the dropdown menu
  1.   Select a State from the dropdown menu.
        •   The county dropdown will be populated with counties in the selected state.
  2.   Select a County from the dropdown menu.
  3.   Click Search Now to retrieve all the elements
      that match the criteria.
  4.   View the results.
                                                                    ialHfefOR add search criteria for Hanw I Slatus | Ccot&gKal C
Selecting U.S. Counties using the map
  1.   On the U.S. Counties search page, click the
      map you want to use to select a county.
        •   U.S. Lower 48 states
        •   Hawaii
        •   Alaska
  2.   From the  selected sub-area on the map, click
      on the county you want to add to your search
      criteria. You may need to navigate the map to
      find the county you want.
        •   You will be returned to the U.S.
            Counties search page, and the
            dropdowns will be populated with the
            county you chose.
  3.   Click Search Now to retrieve all the elements
      that match the criteria.
  4.   View the  results.
                                                         Search by Location Q

                                                         Chawe om of tfw« three bcaUon

                                                            """  ^"*x  • i
                                                         U.S. County Search

                                                         Now: County dtecributlon data are available only for plants and anknafc tor all U S states except MA and NH County
                                                         tfetrfcution k r:        _ •    _    -julli>n Sources tar Irn pen an I Infoimaaon
                                                         Choose «C
                                                         Choose < County by HUp

                                                          U.S Lower 48 Siates  >
                                                                    k*OR add ««di nUedi fcr Nam* | 5tB(u» I Ewtegkal Con
                                                           YLIUI ( tini-nf PUul.ia.iaii.,1 Si-.m I, C.iilmU

                                                           None yet s
                                                           Ynui CimiTtir r-riAM]., at llnUt, S*«irh C

                                                           None yet sertclod
[NOTE]: You can only search by one county at a time. This feature only works with Internet Explorer.
Searching by U.S.  Watersheds

Selecting U.S. Watersheds using the dropdown menu
  1.   Select a State from the dropdown menu.
        •   The watershed dropdown will be
            populated with watersheds in the
            selected state.
  2.   Select a Watershed from the dropdown menu.
  3.   Click Search Now to retrieve all the elements
      that match the criteria.
      View the results.
                                                          US Lower 48 Slates
                                                           Your Current PlantiAnimal Starch Critefi*
                                                                        cii Scaich Crilrrm
Selecting U.S. Watersheds using the map
  1.   On the U.S. Watersheds search page, click the
      map you want to use to select a watershed.
        •   U.S. Lower 48 states
        •   Hawaii
        •   Alaska
  2.   From the selected sub-area on the map, click
      on the watershed you want to add to your
      search criteria. You may need to navigate the
      map to find the watershed you want.
        •   You will be returned to the U.S.
            Watersheds search page, and the dropdowns will be populated with the watershed you chose.
  3.   Click Search Now to retrieve all the elements that match the criteria.
  4.   View the results.
                                                          U.S, Watershed Search
                                                              ciihud tfiati"*)'-'1 '           L'lj-ib jT*d ariim^h; fai all U S ulalu* encopl HA and NH
                                                              	i 11 i                      ;.i.- -mfiattiMInformation
                                                             a WK*r»h*d by Map
                                                             i ('urn-ill t-colugtcal H

                                                             ff yol selected
[NOTE]: You can only search by one watershed at a time. This feature only works with Internet
   Tips for Navigating the County & Watershed Search Maps

       •  Detail and overview map
         Detail map: displays all U.S. counties or U.S. watersheds in the chosen area. Only displays part of ttie whole area.
         Overview map: displays the overview themes. Displays the whole area. A red rectangle shows where the area displayed in the
         detail map is located.
       •  Navigate using overview map Navigate to a certain area in the detail map by clicking in the overview map.
       •  Zoom in, zoom out and pan
         You can zoom in, zoom out and pan in the detail map
       •  Hotlink
         Choose Counties or Watersheds.

VII. Example of Mussel Query for Franklin County, Ohio
Goal: Determine the possible mussel species present in Franklin County, Ohio and the watershed(s)
within the county.
  1.   Perform searches at the county level and watershed level.
  2.   Download results to find additional information not available on the website.

County Level Search
  1.   Click Location tab.
  2.   Click U.S. Counties from the three choices.
  3.   Select a State (Ohio)  from the dropdown menu.
         •   Now the county dropdown will be populated with counties in the selected state.
  4.   Select a County  (Franklin) from the dropdown menu.
  5.   Click Update Criteria because you are choosing multiple filter elements (Name and Location)
       [use the button in the  "Your Current Plant/Animal Search Criteria" box].
  6.   Click Name tab.
  7.   In the And/Or Search by Group field enter "mussel."
  8.   Click Next (either button works).
  9.   Click Search Now to retrieve all the elements that match the criteria.
  10.  View the results.
[NOTE]: The Chrome browser does not allow multiple search criteria to be entered (i.e., Location and
Name), but from the search results, click Change Criteria to enter additional filter elements.

 Choose ont of ihew three location searches

              an Provinces
 U.S. County Search

 Not.-: County deJiibiilion (Lit* .in- .iv.iil.iblr only lor pkinh jnri iminuit. Irw till U S iiLiluii iiintpt MA .uu! NH
 distribution is most complete for al-rtsk species See DisErifeutiofi Sources for import art information

 Choose a County by Menu;

 Stati; |«tnu) Vjjuunly | Hnakhn (33Q4i»J V;

 Choose a Coumy by Map
              9 OK ddd learch crtwiii lui N*n« | JtUllUL I b^
   Your Current Plant/Animal Search Criteria
   Species. Subspecies. Varieties, and Populations
   US County 390*9
   Vuui LutiL-nl ttuloyital Units Sca.di Ciituiia

   Nam- y.
               OR add utarcft erlwrta far Ham I Siann | FfinlfMikal Co<

                          Return 10 Top
 Cnler [he namelsl- of any planl or animal
 (No pkjrali Sepa'al* nave* with a comma ^
 "rjl'plniririlf -liiTmrr
And/Or Search by Group G
                                                                lamt I UKttlon
 t1 AH
 1|-Species - Informal Names
  -f-Animals Invsrlatiratos.
   « Mullu^kb
   •f Freshwater Mussels [ v biilrt1 [fiuup 'j
     Z (Deep Rrvei Sysleni, NC)
     Z (Jpper YadBtin River System NC)
      A Frathwalar
     0 Alabama Creekmussd
     Ii Alabama I leelspliiter
     J Alabama Hirkorvnul
     D Alabama Larnprriussel
     D Alabama Moccasmsnell
     j Alabama Orb
     j Alabama PaarlsteU
     Z Alabama Ktunbow
     "1 Alabama Syike
     D Alawifo Ftoataf


Results Screen for this Query (cropped)
Search^l - 1 8 of 1 8 records matching your criteria.
Results><^s''An'"ate:'3' Systems: D ' Associflti"15: ° ' AllianceE
Csselec t All

S»l«i Allj 1 ShowS»l«tidOnfoj

« Prev 1 Next »
Show Details: ••' Yes U 1*)
/^"^ ^^*V X^
( (jmmgifygm^ 0 ) ^^^^^[^^^^^^^ j
3lant/Animal Records 0= Selected for report browsing. 'NS«SW_ ^S V^ 	
(Uniqjc ID)
Animals. \m
Scien f/fic JVame
Common Name
rtebrates A-foWushs
- r : •" i.-.'^.-Tfa maramata
Cvclonsias tuberculata
Purple Wartyback
S" o' o cra:5 cl&'-.s
Epioblasma toruiosa
TLEercec 3 asson
. ;
Northern Riffleahell "
tC'.'Ciji'.s^'TT.? p 3 L/e f.r
  16. Wait for an email from Services  natureserve@natureserve.org. (You may want to add this email
      address to your spam filter safe-sender list so that it is not treated as spam.)
         •   The time needed to generate the report or file is exponentially linked to the number of species
             that were included in the search. Data for 70  species should take a minute or two, while a
             report/file with thousands of species may take many hours to generate.

[NOTE]: Until a bug is fixed, even UNCHECKED species in your results list will be included in your

  17. Accessing files
         •   Once the PDF report, XML file, or Excel spreadsheet has been created, an email will be sent
             to the address provided:
               1.  Click the link in the email to view the data in your web browser.
               2.  When viewing the report or file in a web browser, you can save it to your computer by
                   going to the File menu and choosing Save for Internet Explorer.
               3.  Choose the location on your computer to be used for saving the .pdf, .xml, or .xsl file.
                         Download Species Data 0

                         Please note:

                         Systems, associations, and alliances are not included in download reports.

                         Downloads are limited to approximately 800 species. For more extensive data downloads please contact our Information Products
                         and Services Team at ProductsAndServices(gjnatureserve.org.

                          . Species Summary Report (PDF)
                          '. Species Comprehensive Data File (XML)
                          . Specie-
                         i^ote: Your email address will only be used to notif^dJ when your report is ready for download.

                         LJI h-rTTr^TI-thi llrnn-r inrl Mpeg-RTffie terms.
                            Your Current Plant/Animal Search Criteria
                            Species, Subspecies, Varieties, and Populations

                            Active Group: Animals, Invertebrates, Mollusks, Freshwater Mus:
                            Selections within Active Group: Entire group selected.

                            US County 39049
                            Your Current Ecological Units Search Criteria

                            None yet selected.

Watershed Level Search
  1.   Determine the watershed (Hydrologic Unit Code
      or HUC 8) for which a site-specific criterion is
      being developed.
5 .
Note: Franklin County, Ohio is in two
watersheds (05060001 Upper Scioto; 05060002
Lower Scioto), but for this example, it is
assumed that a site-specific criterion is being
developed for the Upper Scioto 05060001.

Click Location tab.
Click U.S. Watersheds from the three choices.
Select a State (Ohio) from the dropdown menu.
  •   The county dropdown will be populated
      with watersheds in the selected state.
Select a Watershed (Upper Scioto, 05060001)
from the dropdown menu.
Click Update Criteria [use the button in the
"Your Current Plant/Animal Search Criteria"
Click Name tab.
                                                          Choorj> one ol ihwas Ihrnn ior.atlao i
                                                            • U.S. Slate* & CntMdiai. Prothiccs
                                                          U.S. Watershed Search
                                                          Heat: Watershed dlstrihullnn Aatst titf. avabthlfl only liv plant
                                                          distribution ts most complete for at-risk species Se* Distritxi!
                                                                                       5 for invporlanl information
                                                          Choo«? a Watershed by Menu:
                                                          Chon-ic a Watershed by Uap
                                                           U 3 Lower 46 Sates  ItawH  Aiesta
                                                                       OR Jttt BHfch criteria for Hmw I Slatus I Cc
                                                            Your Current Plant1 Animal Search Criteria
                                                            Sp*des, SubspwJus, Vartarfea, and Pnpulniforn

                                                            Active Group Animate, Invertebrates, Molusks f <«h*i1&r W
                                                            Selections within Active Group Entire group selected
                                                            Ynur C.niifnt Fr

                                                            None yet se4ected
                                                                       OR add search crtleria for Name | StBlui I Ecological Commtm
  9.  In the And/Or Search by Group field enter
  10. Click Next.
  11. Click Search Now to retrieve all the elements that match the criteria.
  12. View the results.
    13. Repeat steps 11-17 from the County Level Search above to download the additional data.
Results Screen for this Query (cropped)
Search Q 1 - 20 of 32 records matching your criteria.
D i. \J" ;-•- - • :• i "." Sj-r^ms I AssocistiCi^ 3 | Alliances: 0
r\c5uiis. ^'••i,^ ^j^n
IppwUctAHJ i a.i»rf*JiJ flhlMfiiaimiri^-'rf
*»!»,«* ®«*Ql* «Prev|Next>>
Q^ Downed spette, rxb ^ Q) , N.w S**rc{ China* CriUrijj
Plant/Animal Records 0- Selected for report browsing. ^^_ ^S
(UniquB ID)
Animals, Inv
Z 12S5:2
Scientific Name
Common Name
rtebrates MoHusks
, -, -"-,-<..-'- ; ,;-c--culata
FJ-D'S 'Aarybsck
Cvproaenia stectana
Elliptic crassidens
-D.'oO/ssma flexuosa
-'?-a oersonafa

C- '•"

_E -'J


United Slates & Canada

USA: AU AR. DC. IA. IL IN. KE. KY. LA. Ml. MN. MO. HD. ME NY. OH, OK, PA. 3D. TN. VA. VT, Wl. W/
USA AL AR. IA. IL, IN, KS. KY. Ml. MN. MO. MS. NC. OH- OK- PA^. SD, TN. VA. Wl, WV
LISA: AL, FL CA. !Ar*. (U IN. KY. LA, MN. MO, ME, OH, OK. PA*~. TN. VA. Wl. WV
USA: ALT. !LT 11*". KYK. OHh TN^
LISA: Al>. llJ", iNf. *C^, OHK TN^

Based on these results, there are 32 possible mussel species present in the Upper Scioto Watershed with
survey data that are reported at the watershed level.

Appendix B: Additional Resources

In addition to the list of cited references above, this list of additional resources is provided for
informational purposes. These lists of references and resources represent some of the information
that EPA compiled during its information collection efforts. They do not represent an exhaustive
list of available information on conducting mussel studies.

Sources of Available Data and Information

    •   Connecticut Natural Diversity Database

    •   Delaware Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program

    •   Georgia Department of Natural Resources, State Mollusk Database

    •   Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Center at Virginia Tech

    •   Illinois Department of Natural Resources Mussel Database

    •   Illinois Natural Heritage Database

    •   Illinois Natural History Survey Mollusk Collection Database

    •   Indiana Department of Environmental Management, Macroinvertebrate Community Assessment
       (http://www.in.gov/idem/4681 .htm)

    •   Indiana Natural Heritage Data Center

    •   lowater

    •   Kansas Department of Health and Environment
       (http: //www .kdheks. gov/)

    •   Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism

    •   Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, Center for Mollusk Conservation
       (http://fw.ky.gov/app2/navigation. aspx?cid=329&navpath=c741c753c755cl03c325)

Louisiana Natural Heritage Program

Maryland Biological Stream Survey

Maryland Natural Heritage Program
(http://dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/plants wildlife/nhpintro.asp)

Missouri Stream Team

Montana Natural Heritage Program
(http: //mtnhp .org/)

Natural Heritage New Mexico, Museum of Southwestern Biology, University of New Mexico

NatureServe© Explorer
(http: //www .nature serve. org/explorer/)

New Jersey Endangered and Nongame Species Program, Biotics Database

Ohio State University Bivalve Database

Partnership for the Delaware Estuary

South Dakota Natural Heritage Program Database
(http: //gfp. sd. gov/wildlife/management/diversity/)

Tennessee Valley Authority
(http: //www .tva. gov/)

The Pacific Northwest Native Freshwater Mussel Working Group (Washington, Oregon,
California, Idaho and Montana)

U.S. Army Corp of Engineers Website on Mussel Surveys

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
(http: //www. fws. go v/)

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

    •   Virginia Natural Heritage Resources Database
       (http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural heritage/dbsearchtool.shtml)

    •   West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection

    •   West Virginia Department of Natural Resources
       (http: //www. wvdnr. gov/)

    •   West Virginia Division of Highways

    •   Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Bureau of Endangered Resources Mussel Database

    •   Wisconsin Natural Heritage Inventory

    •   Wyoming Natural Diversity Database


Beetle, D.E. 1989. Checklist of recent Mollusca of Wyoming, USA. Great Basin Naturalist
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Bogan, A.E. 2006. Conservation and extinction of the freshwater molluscan fauna of North
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Coker, R.E. and J.B. Southall. 1915. Mussel resources in tributaries of the Upper Missouri River.
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Howells, R.G.  1995. Methodology for sampling freshwater mussels. Section 7. Native Mussels
of Oklahoma: a workshop for field aquatic biologists. Tulsa Technology Center, Tulsa,
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Howells, R.G., R.W. Neck, and H.D. Murray. 1996. Freshwater mussels of Texas. University of
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Johnson, P.M., A.E. Liner, S.W. Golladay, and W.K. Michener. 2001. Effects of drought on
freshwater mussels and instream habitat in Coastal Plain tributaries of the Flint River, southwest
Georgia (July-October, 2000). Final Report to The Nature Conservancy Apalachicola River and
Bay Project. University of New Mexico. Albuquerque, NM. 34 pp.

Kovalak W.P., S.D. Dennis, and J.M. Bates. 1986. Sampling effort required to find rare species
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Ecological Data in the Assessment of Freshwater Ecosystems, pp. 34-45. ASTM STP 894.
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Nedeau, E.J. 2008. Freshwater mussels and the Connecticut River Watershed. Connecticut River
Watershed Council. Greenfield, Massachusetts. 132 pp.

Obermeyer, B.K. 1998.  A comparison of quadrats versus timed snorkel searches for assessing
freshwater mussels. Amer. Mid. Nat. 139(2): 331-339.

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of freshwater mussels II: initiatives for the future. Proceedings of a UMRCC symposium, 16-18
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Smith, D.R., R.F. Villella, D.P. Lemarie and S. von Oettingen. 2000. How much excavation is
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Stagliano, D. 2008. Freshwater mussels of Montana. Slide presentation. Montana Natural
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Stranko, S., D. Boward, J. Kilian, A. Becker, M. Ashton, A. Schenk, R. Gauza, A.Roseberry-
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Strayer, D. 1980. The freshwater mussels (Bivalvia: Unionidae) of the Clinton River, Michigan,
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Conservation and management of freshwater mussels II: initiatives for the future. Proceedings of
a UMRCC symposium, 16-18 October 1995, St Louis, Missouri. Upper  Mississippi River
Conservation Committee, Rock Island, Illinois, pp. 163-168.

Strayer, D.L. and KJ. Jirka. 1997. The pearly mussels of New York State. New York State
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The Catena Group. 2005. Freshwater mussel survey: comprehensive mussel survey effort for
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U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). 1997. Freshwater molluscs as indicators of water quality: a
workshop. USGS, NAWQA. Atlanta, Georgia.

Vaughn, C.C. 1995. Freshwater mussel sampling techniques and strategies in native mussels of
Oklahoma: a workshop for field aquatic biologists. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service symposium
conducted at Tulsa Technology Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Villella, R.F. and D.R. Smith. 2005. Two-phase sampling to estimate river-wide populations of
freshwater mussels. J. N. Amer. Benthol. Soc. 24(2): 357-368.

Walters, G.T. 1988. The naiad fauna of selected streams in Ohio. I: Stillwater River of Miami
River. II: stream systems of south central Ohio from the Little Miami River to the Hocking
River, excluding the Scioto River proper. Final Report to the Division of Wildlife, Ohio
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Walters. G.T. 1995. A guide to the freshwater mussels of Ohio. 3rd Edition. Ohio Department of
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Ohio State University Press. Columbus, Ohio. 98 pp.

Young, M.R., L.C. Hastie,  and B. al-Mousawi. 2001. What represents an 'ideal' population
profile for Margaritifera margaritifera! In Anon.  (ed.). The Freshwater Pearl Mussel in Europe:
population Status and Conservation  Strategies, Congress Report, Freiburg, pp. 35-44.


The following examples describe the methodologies that have been employed in waterbodies of
various sizes including wadeable rivers, large areas in mid-sized streams, and large rivers.

Source: WDNR 2005

These guidelines provide an example of a standardized mussel sampling and reporting protocol
for wadeable (i.e., less thanl.2 meters (m) deep) rivers and streams as well as the wadeable
portions of large rivers. This protocol was developed to answer the following study questions:
are mussels present, which species are present, and what is the relationship between mussel
density and habitat? Three different protocols are defined in the document and correspond to the
three study objectives. The protocol highlighted below pertains only to the first objective: are
mussels present or absent? This protocol is designed for cases/situations when resources (e.g.,
time and manpower) are limited and represents a minimum effort.  The protocol was developed
and funded through a joint project between the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and the
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR).  The data generated using these protocols
are expected to provide a baseline of mussel distribution data in Wisconsin as part of the
Wisconsin Mussel Atlas and in conjunction with WDNR basin surveys.

Before any surveying/fieldwork is performed, a record search is conducted to determine if any
historical or other data exist for the particular site or basin. The information is used to develop an
initial list of mussel species that may be present in the waterbody. Any endangered or threatened
species or species of special concern is noted as well as their general habitat preferences.
Importantly, the historical data collected are to be used only to determine possible species
presence and not as an indicator of species absence. Potential sources of information include
previous field surveys, natural heritage program databases, museum records, and other available
literature including the results of mussel and/or benthic  macroinvertebrate surveys reported in the
gray literature.

The sampling design for the presence/absence determination protocol is informal. Sites (station
locations) are selected on the basis that they are representative of available habitat within the
sampling reach and are located reasonably far enough away from permanent structures (bridges,
dams, etc.) such that the structures are not likely to affect mussel distribution (unless the study
objective is to evaluate those particular sites). The number of station locations should be
sufficient to give adequate longitudinal coverage of the  selected stream reach, with the specific
locations chosen to maximize the available stream habitat and spatial resolution of mussel
distribution. Caution is advised when establishing  sampling stations to avoid investigator bias
toward particular habitat types because mussels can often be found in unexpected habitats. The
authors note that for streams with well-developed pool riffle structures, each sampling station
should be located at the base of a riffle. The authors also note that mussel species richness and
density are often higher at the head and base of riffle areas and in moderate run habitat with
stable mixed substrates.

Each site should be sampled for a minimum of 1 hour or until a maximum distance of 200 m is
reached in streams less than 7 m wide or 300 m is reached in streams greater than 7 m wide.
When tactile searches are necessary due to high turbidity, search time should be limited to one
hour. When the search time limit is reached, the amount of stream distance sampled should also
be noted. The authors note that the probability of detecting a mussel species during a timed
search varies greatly depending upon the species, field conditions, collector experience, and
length of search time. Typically the largest and most visible mussels are collected while the
small species, juvenile, buried, and cryptic mussels are often overlooked.

The sampling method utilized is a relatively rapid visual search. The search team should consist
of two people equipped with a mask and snorkel. Each individual should select a shoreline and
search in an upstream manner quartering back and forth towards the center of the stream
beginning at each station location. Visual searches should also include a tactile (hand grabbing)
component, making sure to sweep hands back and forth while sifting through substrate. The
authors note that the use of waders in shallow streams may limit the observers' ability to conduct
additional tactile searching. In sand flats, the use of mask and snorkel may not be necessary,
especially if the substrate is clearly visible. The use of the tactile search in deeper water should
be conducted randomly while progressing upstream.  In this particular protocol it is noted that
small streams less than four m wide may be surveyed by only one person.

Information should be recorded from each survey including, but not limited to, the following:

    -   Location information - waterbody identification, stream name, site mile, date, collectors,
       county, township, GPS coordinates, nearest road/access, and site map.
       Water characteristics - time, water level, air temperature, water temperature,
       conductivity, turbidity, clarity, visibility, and gradient (flow).
       Sampling strategy - sampling method, search times, area searched, bank (i.e.,  right or
       left), mussel presence, and distance to live mussels.
       Habitat description - stream widths, habitat description, macrohabitat (e.g., pools, runs,
       riffles, rapids), substrate (e.g., detritus, clay, silt, sand), and artificial bank structures.

This protocol specifically states that surveys should only be conducted between mid-June and
late September because, during this time, stream levels are near base flows,  water temperatures
are near maximum, and mussels are active. Additionally it is recommended  that an experienced
malacologist and experienced collectors  design the  survey and be on site at the time of sampling.
Mussel sampling is strongly influenced by collector experience, and therefore, it is recommended
that experienced field crews be used to collect mussel data. Experienced collectors are often able to
collect a greater number of individuals and species, especially small and cryptic colored specimens,
when compared to inexperienced collectors.
Source: Smith etal. 2001

This document provides an example of a mussel survey conducted by the U.S. Geological
Survey for biological assessments of the effects of a series of bridge replacements on the
Allegheny River for two federally-listed mussel species. The protocol provides an example of

combining qualitative sampling to determine presence and quantitative sampling to determine
density for rare species over large areas.

The survey protocol involves three steps: delineating areas of direct and indirect effects of
construction, qualitative sampling in areas of direct and indirect effects, and quantitative
sampling in areas of direct effects. Direct effects include mortality, displacement, or interference
with growth or reproduction caused during or shortly after construction activities. Indirect effects
include scouring, sedimentation, and pooling due to construction related changes to river flow.

The total study area was 56,250 square meters (m2), with a direct effects area of 18,600 m2 and
an indirect effects area of 37,650 m2. The direct effects areas extended 50 m upstream and 50 m
downstream of the existing bridge, and the indirect effects areas were 50-100 m upstream and
50-200 m downstream of the bridge. These areas were based on similar projects of the same size
as well as the fact that preliminary engineering plans involved constructing a causeway and
dropping the existing bridge into the river and partially onto the causeway before removal.

For qualitative sampling, a timed search was performed with a target search rate of 0.5
m2/minute. The study area was divided into 24 cells, where 18 cells were  50 m x 50 m and 6
cells were 50 m long and of variable widths. Search times were prorated for cells that were less
than 50 m x 50 m. Three teams of four observers were deployed, which allowed three cells to be
sampled simultaneously. Each observer spent 60 minutes searching within 1A of the cell, so the
total search time per cell was 240 minutes. Each cell was sampled by snorkeling in wadeable
water (i.e., depths less than one m deep) or SCUBA (i.e., depths greater than one m) with the
assumption that the search rate was equal for snorkelers and divers.

A shell midden search was also performed as part of the qualitative analysis. Both banks  along
the entire study area were searched for middens. All deposits were mapped, and spent valve pairs
were counted and identified by species.

Quantitative sampling of the direct effects area consisted of a double sampling design using
0.25-m2 quadrats that were systematically placed with multiple random starts.  A total of 562
quadrats were  sampled.  Sampling also included excavation of a random subset (183) of the
quadrats to a depth of approximately 10 centimeters or to hardpan. The excavated substrate was
sifted through  a 6.35 millimeter mesh screen. Observers recorded species  counts in each quadrat,
and surface and buried mussels were recorded separately. After the count, mussels were replaced
in the substrate.

The qualitative timed search found 17 species in the direct and indirect effects areas and live
mussels in all 24 cells. Few individuals and species were found in areas of fast current. The shell
midden search found recent shell material in 11 middens  and included 15  species. Quantitative
sampling found 14 species with a total density of 2.810 mussels/m2. A wide range  of mussel
sizes were observed including some small individuals, which indicated that the two federally-
listed species reproduced recently at the study site.

Source: Clayton et al. 2013

This protocol provides basic mussel survey methodology and guidance for a consistent approach
designed to document the potential presence or absence of federally-listed mussel species and
protect concentrations of all native mussels within West Virginia. The goal of the document is to
provide standardized protocols to address all stream types in West Virginia and the full
complement of potential instream activities (e.g., dredging, bridge projects, shoreline protection,
outfalls, etc). Protocols are limited to four groups of stream types where the watershed area
above the impact point is 2,590 hectares (10 square miles) or larger. The information included
below for this example is specific to the protocol for Group 4 streams or large rivers where
federally-listed threatened  or endangered species are expected. These include the Ohio River
downstream of Hannibal lock and dam, Little Kanawha River (slackwater section adjoining the
Ohio River), and the Kanawha River navigation pools. This protocol is an update of OR VET

The approach to the survey consists of two phases: a Phase 1 survey using transect or cell
searches and, depending on the outcome, a Phase 2 quantitative or intensive qualitative survey, if

The objective of a Phase 1  survey is to determine if a diverse mussel community is present and to
delineate the area with a mussel concentration. The survey design consists of a visual search of
transects, 1 m in width, spaced no more than 100 m apart, placed perpendicular to stream flow or
cells not to exceed 10 m by 10 m in size. A visual search includes moving cobble and woody
debris; hand sweeping away silt, sand and/or small detritus; and disturbing/probing the upper
five centimeters (two inches) of substrate in order to better view the mussels which may be there.
A minimum of one minute/m  of visual searching is expended in each segment of heterogeneous
substrate. To develop a species richness curve, additional searches in 5- to 10-minute increments
are conducted in areas with mussel concentrations until at least 6 samples are collected without
an addition of new species. Any potential federally-listed species should be brought to the
surface for identification.

This protocol also advocates the need for including buffer zones when mussel populations are
found. In the case of disturbances from outfalls, the recommended upstream buffer zone is 10m,
the downstream buffer zone is 100 m beyond the mixing zone, and there is a 10 m lateral buffer
zone. Data are compiled from transects established in  each of three distinct areas separately. Data
are recorded by 10 m segments along the transect or by cell position. Mussels observed along the
transect or within a cell are recorded as occurring in a particular segment or cell. Appropriate
information describing the depth and habitat conditions along each transect and within each cell
(e.g., depositional areas, silt, mud, detritus, hard-pan, sand, and scoured areas where mussels
cannot burrow, gravel, cobble, etc.) is recorded for each segment or cell. If a trigger is met and
avoidance is not an option, then a Phase 2 survey is required. Survey results that trigger
avoidance of a Phase 2 survey include the following:

   -   Five individuals per 10m segment in any area of the  survey.

       Presence of at least three species that are not among the nine in Group 4 streams that can
       be excluded in defining a diverse mussel concentration along any one transect or within a
       qualitative survey conducted between transects.

The objective of Phase 2 is to collect sufficient data to determine if federally-listed mussel
species are likely to be present within the mussel concentration defined in Phase 1. The Phase 2
survey within a Group 4 stream consists of more intensive qualitative surveys as described by
Smith (2006). This requires an additional percentage of area to be surveyed, which is
accomplished by adding additional transects between and around transects meeting trigger(s).
The area meeting the trigger criteria is delineated, and the amount of additional survey effort is
calculated using the criteria and formula from Smith (2006). Criteria to be used in calculations
are as follows:

   -   Expected density 0.01.
       Ohio River downstream of Willow Island Dam and Kanawha River upstream of Elk
       River, minimum 90 % probability of detection.
       Ohio River, Willow Island Pool, Kanawha River downstream of Elk River, and Little
       Kanawha River slack water, 75 % probability of detection.
       Search efficiency 0.4.

There are a number of other considerations noted in the protocol. Surveying can only occur from
May 1  to October 1. Any other time frame must be pre-approved and may require another survey
protocol. A minimum visibility requirement is also in place; visibility must be at least 0.5 m
(approximately  20  inches) with or without lights at the depth of the survey. The survey must note
the actual visibility on the day of the survey rather than just indicating that the minimum
requirement was met. If the visibility does not meet the requirement, the survey is either
rescheduled or performed using a different sampling method in consultation with the appropriate
state or federal agencies.

Appendix D: Examples of Typical Survey Data

The types of data collected during a mussel survey are dependent on the study objective(s) and
the sampling approach, design, and method. Some of the data generally collected and useful for
developing site-specific criteria using the Recalculation Procedure may include the following

   -   Taxonomic identification (e.g., Order, Family, Genus and Species).
   -   Date of survey.
       Number of live individuals and number of spent shells by condition category (shells often
       are sorted into subfossil, weathered, and recent categories).
   -   Threatened or endangered status.
   -   Length of the segment survey, type, GPS coordinates.
       Time spent on the search.
       Water quality/physical parameters (e.g., dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature, water
       current speed, turbidity/visibility, water depth, weather conditions, etc.).
   -   Habitat type and substrate.
       Catch per unit effort/search effort.
       Estimated viability/threats.

In line with some of the above items, the following presents example field survey forms from
Carlson et al. 2008 and Barbour et al. 1999 that surveyors might use to characterize the site
conditions on the day of the survey including location of the site, water quality parameters,
physical habitat features, and the sampling method used (e.g., tactile only, tactile with snorkel,
tactile with SCUBA):

Site Number:
  age Station:	
           Field Number:
Time Beg:
Stream Order:
               Stream Type:
Distance upstream:
Distance downstream:
Tactile Only D           Tactile With Snorkel D
               Tactile With SCUBA Z
               Instream Features Quantitative
                                                                      Water Quality
Please specify all units of measurement
% Canopy Cover:	   Wetted Width:
Surface Velocity (at thalweg):	
Water Depth (at thalweg):	
Bank Height (rt It*):	
                                                 Water Temp:	°C
                                                 Dissolved Oxygen: _
                                                 pH           Other:
                  Bank Angle(rt It*):
                     Instream  Features Qualitative
Channel Alteration:
           303d Listed:    D yes
           Designated Use:
           Violated Criteria:
                     Z  no
        Water Clarity
         D  Clear
         D  Slightly turbid
         Z  Turbid
         Z  Opaque
Shoring Structures: Z None        D Limerock
Z Concrete Z Rip-rap    Z Other:	 Extent:
           4eavy Rain in past 7 days:
           ^ir Temperature:	
                                                                                    Yes D    No r
                                                                                    Est. C  Act.  Z
Substrate composition (% est.):  Gravel	     silt	 claV-
Clay Marl	      Fine sand	     Coarse s.	    Medium s.
Boulder         Bedrock            Cobble
                                                 Survey Weather Conditions:  scattered showers   Z
                                                 Heavy rain      D       Clear/sunny         D
                                                 Steady rain     D       % Cloud cover	
Channel Stability (Check one box tor each column):
               Large, fresh deposits absent
               High number of deep pools
               Large, fresh deposits uncommon
               Moderate number of deep pools
               Large, fresh deposits common
               Low-moderate number of deep pools
Large, fresh deposits very common
Few, if any. deep pools
                            No mass-wasting or significant erosion of banks
                            Channel slightly entrenched
                            High number of deep pools
                            Some bank erosion apparent, no mass wasting
                            Channel slightly-moderately entrenched
                            Moderate number of deep pools
                            Active bank erosion, potential mass-wasting
                            Channel moderately-highly entrenched
                            Low-moderate number of deep pools
                                           Active bank erosion, frequent mass-wasting
                                           Channel moderately-highly entrenched
                                           Few, if any, deep pools	
                                ID None
                        D yes (Describe):
                                Fish Passage:
                                      1] yes
                                      Z no
                                Fish Presence:
                                L Absent
                                Z Rare
                                D Common
                                L Abundant
                                Woody Material:
                                      Z  None/infreq.
                                      3  Moderate
                                      n  Extensive
Riparian Features Quantitative
                                                              Site Road Crossing
Rt* Buffer width(ft):
Z 10-25
Z 25-75
Z 78-150
Z 150+
Lt* Buffer width(ft):
C 10-25
D 25-75
D 78-150
Z 150+
      Landuse Characterization:
      (100 feet to either side of the stream)
                        RtBk  LIBk
      Natural Forest
     Road Type:
     Name (if known):_
                                                              D  Paved
                        D Unpaved
     Crossing Type:
       D Pipe culvert
       D Bridge
D  Box culvert
D  Paved box culvert
Local Non-Point Source Pollution Potential:
   HI No evidence             Zl  Slight
   D Moderate potential         Z  Obvious sources
   Z Livestock access
                                                       Floodplain Access:
                                Bank Erosion:
                                Z Non-eroding
                                Z Active Erosion
                                _ Mass-wasting
   Source:  Carlson et al. 2008




AM rlv!

bdkate the percentage af each kabit.it typ* preseat
3 Cobble 	 ••; aSoass 	 *, ' 3 Vegetated Banks 	 % 3 Smc %
3 Sabmaged MacropajISE 	 "•-, 3 Offaef ( ) 	 %
Gurised 3D-6aass o> tick-net
H«r were the saatpte collected? awadicg Q fctc. bank 3&aml»a
ladkirte the number of j ab: Inf t:s tat^a in each habitat ryp*
3 Cobble 	 a Smss 	 3 Vegetated Banks 	 3 Sanid
3 &jhm.afed Macrophjtss 	 3 Ofcff ( ) 	

   Indicate emmated abundance:  0 = Absent/Not Observed, 1 = Rare, 2 = Common, 3= Abmtant, 4 =
FUaaieatoiB Algae
   Indicate estimated, abnndanre: 0 = AbsemtSot Obserred, 1 = Rare (1-3 orgauusms), 2 = Cornnun (3-9
                                    ), &= Abundant (>10 orgiutisms), 4 = Dominant (: ;Q organisras)


1 2
1 2
1 2
1 2
1 2
1 2
1 2
1 2
1 2
1 2
1 2



1 1
I 2
1 2
] 2
I 2
] 2
1 2
1 2
1 2
1 2
1 2
1 2
3 4
3 4
3 4
3 4
3 4
3 4
3 4
3 4
3 4
3 4
3 4
3 4
Cairofiomidae 01234
Epbeaeropten 01234
Tndiopteia 01234
Other 01234

Source: Barbour et al. 1999
  Rapid Biaas;e:sment Protocols For Use in Streams and WadeabSe River:: Periplsymn, Benthic
  Macroin\enebrates. and Fish. Second Edition -Form 1                                       A-25