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200203700 - Freshwater Mussel Research and Restoration Project

Sponsor: Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation

Budgets: FY07: $294,953 | FY08: $293,713 | FY09: $352,316

Short description: The purpose of this study is to provide information essential for restoration of freshwater mussels in the Umatilla River. Mussel restoration complements the Tribe’s efforts to rebuild ecosystem diversity, and traditional and cultural opportunities.

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

Recommended budgets: FY07: $0 | FY08: $0 | FY09: $0


ISRP final recommendation: Fundable (Qualified)


This proposal gives a nice background presentation including data collected (including maps) in previous years. This proposal has an exemplary section on past results and reporting of data. It is surprising that more taxonomic work has not been done on these organisms so the genetic analyses in the proposal are well justified, particularly if Anodonta turns out to be a species complex with multiple habitat and fish host requirements. One point that the background section could have made more clear was why so few mussels exist in the Umatilla River relative to the John Day River since both rivers have a long history of anthropogenic disturbance (e.g., mining grazing and logging), and intuitively they should have similar mussel faunas. Some of these mussels are very long-lived, e.g., 50 years, and the shells can be used like tree-rings to track environmental changes. This fundable recommendation is qualified because better documentation is needed that the sample size is adequate. Have they done a power analysis to show that their sample size is adequate? It is of interest to note that in some areas around Seattle, mussels are used to monitor habitat restoration project effectiveness. It would also be useful to know if other mussel translocation efforts have been attempted in the Columbia River Basin, and if so, how well they have succeeded.

State/province recommendation: Fundable when money available

Review group: OSPIT - Plateau

Recommended budgets: FY07: (n/a) | FY08: (n/a) | FY09: (n/a)

Comment: This is the only project doing this type of work. It has applicaility throughout the Columbia basin and mussels have a special tribal cultural significance.

State/province recommendation: MS: Recommended Action

Review group: MSRT

Recommended budgets: FY07: (n/a) | FY08: (n/a) | FY09: (n/a)

Comment: This project appears to have two distinct parts: 1) restoration activities in the Umatilla subbasin (and possibly others), and 2) genetic analysis of mussels in several subbasins. This project would be more appropriately reviewed in the subbasin processes. This project may fit into PNAMP's vision for monitoring high level indicators. Some MSRT members believe that certain elements of this project may be High Priority.