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Notice of permit

Regional or Local Number: DFO-17-PCAA-00014

Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the provisions of section 73 of the Species at Risk Act permit no. DFO-17-PCAA-00014 is issued.

Scientific research for the conservation of the species

The purpose is to determine the impact of environmental pollution on freshwater mussels. Project 1 will continue to examine the sensitivity of glochidia to neonicotinoids, fungicides and neonicotinoid-fungicide mixtures that may pose threats to Ontario freshwater mussels. Three species of freshwater mussels will be collected from the wild in order to harvest their glochidia for toxicity assessments. In project 2, the ability of glochidia to survive in surface water collected from the lower Grand River and Boston River (Grand River tributary) will be examined, and dilutions of wastewater from a sewage lagoon that releases into Boston Creek. Exposures will be conducted with Lampsilis fasciola and/or Villosa iris and Lampsilis siliquoidea. All toxicity tests with glochidia will be conducted under controlled laboratory conditions using a standardized acute toxicity test. No adult mussels will be harmed in the glochidia exposures. Glochidia will only be removed from one gill (marsupial) of each female so that the mussel can be returned to its exact site of collection to release the remainder.

Start Date: 2017-06-01   End Date: 2017-10-30

Issuing Authority: Department of Fisheries and Oceans

Authority Used:

  • Species at Risk Act

Location of Activity (province, territory or ocean):

  • Ontario

Affected Species:

a) Alternatives: The early life stages of freshwater mussels are known to be especially sensitive to waterborne contaminants. By working with the glochidia, adequate numbers can be obtained for testing without harming mature mussels. The chosen method of assessing the sensitivity of the glochidia through acute toxicity testing has been widely accepted (American Standard Testing Method E2455-05) as a way of determining the lowest concentration of an environmental contaminant that could harm the species. An alternative option for determining the sensitivity of endangered mussel species to contaminants would be to use glochidia from another (common) species. Therefore, the common species Lampsilis siliquoidea will be used in many of the experiments and SAR glochidia will only be used on a limited basis (i.e., after concentration range finding exposures with the common species’ glochidia have been conducted). By gaining an understanding of the contaminant sensitivity of a number of mussel species, including SAR, it will ensure that regulators will have the data necessary to develop water quality regulations which will protect even the most sensitive species. b) Measures to minimize impact: Toxicity tests with glochidia will be conducted under controlled laboratory conditions using a standardized acute toxicity test (American Standard Testing Method E2455-05). Trained and experienced lab staff will execute the tests. The lab and field staff will be supervised by the study’s Principal Investigator who has >10 years of experience conducting toxicity tests with early life-stage mussels. Field staff have taken the Mussel Identification course offered by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and are experienced (1-5 years) in the proper handling and care of mussel species both in the field, and in maintaining them in the lab. Only females of certain species will be collected and half of the glochidia are removed for experiments, allowing the female to release some glochidia naturally in the river. All known mitigation measures are being used to minimize potential impacts on the listed species. c) Effects on survival and recovery: The goal is ultimately to lead to the recovery of these species. By gaining an understanding of the glochidia’s susceptibility to contaminants, a contribution will be made to long-term protection of freshwater mussels through environmental regulations.

Contact Person(s)
Mr. Raymond Ratynski
Regional Manager, Species at Risk Program
Freshwater Institute, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
501 University Crescent
Winnipeg, MB
R3T 2N6
Tel: 204-983-4438
Fax: 204-983-5192