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SFS Annual Meeting

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USING PONDS AND RESERVOIRS AS “GROW OUT” FACILITIES FOR FRESHWATER MUSSEL (UNIONIDAE) RESTORATION IN THE DELAWARE RIVER WATERSHED

Freshwater mussels play an important role in maintaining healthy freshwater ecosystems and can be used as reliable indicators to evaluate water quality, habitat diversity and bottom stability in streams and rivers throughout the US. As filter feeders, mussels significantly reduce seston in the water thereby influencing water quality. Researchers from the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, and the Philadelphia Water Department have been involved in freshwater mussel restoration efforts throughout southeastern Pennsylvania and Delaware, including propagating mussels at The Mussel Hatchery in Philadelphia. One of the greatest challenges to the success of many propagation programs is the need for adequate “grow out’” sites, where juvenile mussels can be relocated and held until they reach a size whereby they can be transplanted into local streams. We present preliminary data on the survivorship and growth of transplanted adult Elliptio complanata and Utterbackiana implicata and juvenile Utterbackiana implicata in several different lentic environments, a description of different types of installations used for overwintering mussels, and the merits and challenges of using ponds and reservoirs as grow out facilities.

Roger Thomas (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, Patrick Center for Environmental Research, rlt47@drexel.edu;


Kathryn Longwill (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, Patrick Center for Environmental Research, kab543@drexel.edu;


Danielle Kreeger (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Partnership for the Delaware Estuary; The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, Patrick Center for Environmental Research, dkreeger@delawareestuary.org;


Kurt Cheng (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, kcheng@delawareestuary.org;


Lance Butler (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Philadelphia Water Department, Lance.Butler@phila.gov ;


Christopher Vito (Primary Presenter/Author), The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, Patrick Center for Environmental Research, cev34@drexel.edu;