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Columbia River Basin dreissenid mussel monitoring forum workshop

June 5, 2018

To address actions identified in the Department of Interior’s “Safeguarding the West” strategy, the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC) and US Geological Survey (USGS) convened 43 invasive species coordinators and scientific experts June 5-6, 2018 in Portland, Oregon to assess the status of dreissenid monitoring efforts in the Columbia River Basin (CRB); identify key strengths and weaknesses of existing collaborative efforts to monitor for dreissenids; identify priority monitoring gaps foundational to dreissenid prevention efforts; and achieve consensus on a set of strategies to address those gaps and maintain a strong monitoring collaborative and framework moving forward. Prior to the workshop, two webinars were conducted to summarize how states and provinces are estimating and using metrics that describe dreissenid mussel introduction (i.e., the risk of mussels being introduced into a waterbody) and establishment (i.e., the risk of a mussel population becoming established after an introduction event).

The goal of the webinars was to provide context to discussions at the Columbia River Basin Dreissenid Mussel Monitoring Forum.

 As part of the webinars expert practitioners, gave presentations that summarized the origins and basis for metrics typically used to characterize invasive species invasion risk. During the first webinar which was held on May 7, 2018, Dr. Bob McMahon, University of Texas at Arlington gave a presentation discussing factors affecting the establishment of dreissenid mussels. During the second webinar which was held on May 30, 2018, Samuel Fischer and Mark Lewis from the University of Alberta presented information on factors affecting the introduction of mussels.

Presentations at the workshop were given to update participants on the status of dreissenid mussel monitoring in the Columbia River Basin. Staff from the US Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE), Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), USGS, Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), and National Park Service (NPS) gave presentations that described the status of dreissenid mussel monitoring efforts conducted by federal agencies. Participants also heard presentations on the status of other monitoring related efforts. Representatives from the Western Regional Panel and Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks (MFWP) presented information about method and protocol standardization coordination activities. Staff from the British Columbia Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy also presented an update on their sampling and resource allocation protocols.

The USGS then presented an overview of the evolution and status of dreissenid mussel monitoring in the CRB as well as summary of the results of webinars that addressed facets of dreissenid mussel introduction and establishment risk estimation. To facilitate learning from ongoing efforts that address similar invasive species coordination, monitoring, and research activities, Kelly Baerwaldt, US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) presented remotely on the activities of the Asian Carp Coordinating Committee, informing workshop participants of the how the effort formed and is funded, priority goals and activities, as well as key successes and challenges.

The meeting culminated with workshop attendees participating in four breakout groups (risk assessment and research, data/lab analysis, monitoring/coordination, and funding) to identify priority key gaps or weaknesses to existing monitoring/coordination efforts as well as identify priority actions or strategies could help address those gaps or weaknesses. The recommended priority actions from each breakout group were compiled into one overall recommendation to build on existing strengths and address weaknesses associated with monitoring for dreissenids in the Columbia River Basin: Using existing infrastructure and datasets, develop a transboundary, interagency, adaptive, coordinated, regional monitoring framework/partnership to ensure optimal resource allocation.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2018
Title Columbia River Basin dreissenid mussel monitoring forum workshop
Authors Lisa DeBruyckere, Timothy Counihan, Stephen Phillips
Publication Type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Series Title
Series Number
Index ID 70199102
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Western Fisheries Research Center