The PWA has been re-evaluating freshwater mussel populations in the Petitcodiac watershed since 2018, by using a semi-qualitative survey approach, at the 66 sites that were surveyed between the years 1997 and 2000 by DFO. Freshwater mussels have important roles in our river ecosystems as they help improve water quality by filtering it and they also provide food to New Brunswick’s wildlife such as raccoons and muskrats.
An image captured during field work of a Brook Floater and an Eastern Pearlshell
In 2020, 8 sites were surveyed resulting in watershed 6 different species found in total; and amongst which the Brook Floater (Alamisdonta varicosa), a species of special concern, was discovered in great numbers in different parts of the rivers.
The PWA also hosted a Citizen Science Day with volunteers to help with the Brook Floater DNA sampling and mussel surveying.
Also under the Species-at-Risk project, habitat improvements were implemented with river landowners located at two rivers: Little River and North River. This riparian zone re-vegetation aims to help stabilize river banks and improve water quality.