East Texas Mussel Survey
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Field surveys of freshwater mussels (family Unionidae) were conducted at 49 sites in 22 waterbodies (4 rivers, 7 reservoirs, and 11 streams) within the Red, Trinity, Neches, and Sabine drainage basins using standard qualitative and quantitative methods. Depth, dominant substrates, GPS coordinates, and water chemistry were recorded at each site. Abundant and diverse mussel beds were located in the Sulphur, Angelina, and Neches rivers. These sites can be used for future monitoring. Several waterbodies were surveyed for the first time (i.e. Cooper Reservoir, Wright Patman Reservoir, Houston County Reservoir, Striker Reservoir, and lower Sabine River tributaries). Extreme rainfall and flooding in 2007 prevented successful sampling of several sites. Mussel populations in a number of waterbodies (i.e. Sulphur River, Cooper Reservoir, Houston County Reservoir, B.A. Steinhagen Reservoir, Toledo Bend Reservoir) were severely damaged during previous droughts or drawdowns. Several sites with abundant and diverse unionid assemblages were suggested for monitoring, conservation, and recovery plans. This survey will provide data necessary for successful management and conservation of unionids in East Texas rivers and reservoirs.