• Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences
  • FMCC
  • Research

Surveys and Population Assessments


Staff at FMCC are routinely involved in conducting surveys for freshwater mussels in local and regional streams and rivers. Survey types include quantitative and qualitative assessments of mussel populations. Quantitative surveys are conducted to determine mussel density, population size, recruitment levels, community composition, and to obtain other demographic data. Qualitative surveys are typically conducted to determine if a species is present at a site and/or to determine the relative abundance of a suite of species using a standardized catch per unit effort approach. Surveys are conducted for Virginia Department of Transportation, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other state and federal agencies, non-governmental organizations and private sector groups. Many of our surveys occur in the Clinch, Powell, North Fork Holston, James, Roanoke and Dan rivers where endangered mussel species reside.


Matt Johnson leading survey crew on

Powell River, TN.

Sampling a 1/4 meter squared quadrant

for mussels

Jess Jones with survey crew on

Clinch River, TN.

FMCC Lab Manager, Hua Dan and

her son Kenneth.

Braven Beaty of The Nature Conservancy

sifts thru river sediment.

Dick Neves looking for juvenile

mussels in gravel substrate.