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FDOT Chipola River Freshwater Mussel Survey

Santa Rosa County, Florida

ERC > Projects > Threatened & Endangered Species > FDOT Chipola River Freshwater Mussel Survey

ERC conducted a freshwater mussel survey within the Chipola River, this was associated with the State Route 20 bridge replacement project for the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).

The proposed project consists of replacing the existing bridge with an improved structure that meets the current safety standards.

The Chipola River is part of the Apalachicola, Chattahoochee, and Flint River Basin, which is considered to be critical habitat for numerous freshwater mussels, some of which are listed by the USFWS as threatened and endangered.

ERC coordinated with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to develop the survey methodology for listed mussels. A systematic search protocol included an underwater survey using SCUBA, 1000 feet downstream and 500 feet upstream from the bridge replacement site.

The protocol consisted of established transects extending from bank to bank at increments of 100 feet and surveyed by ERC biologists with malacological expertise.

Using the USFWS protocol for mussel surveys, ERC biologists enumerated all observed mussels species, photographed voucher specimens, and measured all listed species, such as Chipola slabshell (Elliptio chipolaensis) and Shiny Rayed Pocketbook (Hamiota subangulata).

In addition to the data collected from each transect, habitat photographs, river gauge data, and habitat assessment notes were recorded to supplement the report which was submitted to USFWS.

  • Project Highlights

    FL Department of Transportation

    Calhoun County, Florida

    Project Size:
    500 feet upstream & 1000 feet downstream from SR 20 bridge

    Impact Size:
    45 (+/-) Acres

    ERC's Services Includes:

    • Coordination with USFWS & FDOT
    • Mussel Identification
    • Stream Habitat Assessment
    • Field Survey
    • Restoration Implementation
    • Survey Report