Title page for ETD etd-09182008-063340
|Type of Document
||Henley, William F.
||Recovery status and chemosensory cues affecting reproduction of freshwater mussles in the North Fork Holston River downstream of Saltville, Virginia
||Master of Science
||Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences
|Neves, Richard J.
|Lemly, A. Dennis
|Smith, Stephen A.
- North Fork Holston River
- Composite Behavioral Index
|Date of Defense
The freshwater mussel fauna of the North Fork Holston River (NFHR)
downstream of Saltville, VA declined from at least 24 species, as observed in
1918, to one species in 1974 due to mercury pollution. To determine the degree of
recovery of mussels in the NFHR downstream of Saltville, and to provide
recommendations for future mussel translocation sites, 19 sites were surveyed
using a snorkeling catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE) method. At sites where
investigator CPUE values (no./h) equaled or exceeded 5 mussels/h, a CPUE survey
was conducted along transect lines. If investigator CPUE values equaled 10
mussels/h, a quadrat survey was conducted along the transects.
Nine species of mussels were observed in the NFHR, and reproduction, as
indicated by the presence of juveniles, was noted at 5 sites. Recovery of mussels
was judged to be occurring downstream of NFHRM 56.4 based on species
aggregations and recruitment. The number of mussels collected at sites, random
CPUE (no./h), transect CPUE (no./h), and density (no./O.25m2) were generally
inversely correlated to total Hg content, but not methyl mercury content, as
measured in Corbicula fluminea from proximate sites. Random and transect
CPUE (no./h) were found to be poor predictors of site densities (no./O.25m2) and
popUlation estimates. Translocation recommendations for the NFHR downstream
of Saltville, VA were made based on species aggregations, recruitment, and the
distribution of total mercury.
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