Journal archives for March 2019

March 25, 2019

2019 goals!

Hi again everyone.

Well spring is just around the corner and a new season of data collecting will soon be here. So a good time to set personal goals for species you've never seen before yourself, or localities you've never visited in the past.

So tips to remember: right after spring floods is a good time to drop by shallow bends in small to medium rivers and creeks to scour shores and sandbars where shells tend to accumulate, especially in the clumps of shoreline vegetation of sharp bends. Best time for this sort of search is around mid May, before that same vegetation starts to green up and thus conceal what you're looking for.

Next opportunity is low water levels in those same sized water courses to scour the shallows. This is optimally done after about ten days of low-or-no precipitations or more, so the waters turn clear enough to see through a foot or two of depth. For the larger rivers low water periods tend to be optimum only later around mid July to early September. But this tends to vary a lot after big downpours so best keep an eye on water levels using internet tools before heading out to your target river. One of these very helpful tools is: .

You can follow water levels in real time for most of your provinces' main waterways, and if the one you plan to visit isn't covered, you can at least extrapolate from nearby ones that are. Some provinces also have their own provincial list of rivers that they keep similar data on, thus complementing the federal list. This strategy of remotely tracking water levels prior to visits is a real time - and gas - saver!

As for target species, well just look at our Canaiad data for those taxon we have less than 10 records of and you have our priority list. But always keep in mind federal and provincial laws and regulations related to freshwater mussels and their capture as there are important restrictions depending on where you will be searching for specimens. To keep it very simple, you shouldn't worry if you only seek empty shells and leave them where you found them after taking sufficient detailed photographs in order for peers to confirm your identifications to species level.

As for sheer numbers goals, 2019 should be the year we pass 1000 observations!

And lastly, a new feature of the yearly "goal post", the Year's Target Species! 2019's target is...
Alasmidonta viridis, from Southern Ontario.

Have yourselves a great musseling season!


Posted on March 25, 2019 12:14 PM by redgarter redgarter | 3 comments | Leave a comment