Tippecanoe River, Indiana: Defining point source threats to rare endangered mussels

Metadata Updated: October 26, 2018

The Tippecanoe River is one of the nation's most biologically diverse rivers. It remains one of the last strongholds for the federally endangered clubshell mussel (Pleurobema clava) in addition to several other mussel and fish species. Protection of this resource is extremely important, not only to preserve current diversity, but for the potential recovery of several species of mussels. The leading cause of imperilment for freshwater mussels is habitat destruction and degradation caused by anthropogenic activities (Williams et al. 1993). The Tippecanoe River is subject to a variety of these environmental stresses including industrial and municipal effluent, urban run-off, non-point source pollution from agricultural practices, and erosion and sedimentation as a result of physical alterations of tributaries and riparian habitat. This investigation was initiated after a decline in mussel richness and diversity was observed in the Tippecanoe River watershed. This decline included a loss of rare and sensitive species in most of the river's tributaries (ESI 1993). The study focused primarily on the effects that permitted municipal and industrial discharges had on the rare and endangered mussel fauna in the main stem Tippecanoe River. It was evident from past studies (ESI 1993) that many of the tributaries no longer supported their historical mussel fauna. Because most of the permitted NPDES and solid waste facilities discharge to the tributaries, as opposed to the river itself, a logical assumption was that these facilities were having adverse impacts on the Tippecanoe River watershed. The objective of the study was to identify those point sources that appeared to be negatively affecting the main stem river via chemical degradation of water and sediment. A variety of surveys, tests, and analyses were performed and, though no one tributary stood out above the rest as being seriously problematic, several streams were implicated as contributing to a decline in water quality and increased sediment load. In addition, while point-source pollution in the watershed should not be taken lightly, results of this study indicate that a more serious threat to the freshwater mussel community in the Tippecanoe River may be non-point source pollution, such as urban runoff, agricultural chemical inputs, aerial deposition, and excessive erosion and sedimentation. This study addressed the number one priority of the Ohio River Valley Ecosystem Team (ORVET) which is to reverse the decline of native mollusks, with emphasis on endangered, threatened, and candidate species, and species of concern. In 1998, the ORVET designated the Tippecanoe River as a focus area based on its species richness and diversity. Data gathered during this project will provide valuable baseline information in the event a chemical spill or release was to occur in the watershed. In addition, this information will be useful in developing management strategies for the river.

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Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: No license information was provided. If this work was prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person's official duties it is considered a U.S. Government Work.

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Metadata Created Date October 26, 2018
Metadata Updated Date October 26, 2018

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Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date October 26, 2018
Metadata Updated Date October 26, 2018
Publisher Fish and Wildlife Service
Unique Identifier FWS_ServCat_23399
Brent Frakes
Maintainer Email
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code "010:18"
Metadata Context https://project-open-data.cio.gov/v1.1/schema/catalog.jsonld
Metadata Catalog ID C:\Program Files (x86)\FWS\DataStore\Application\OpenData\FWS_ServCat_v1_1.json
Schema Version https://project-open-data.cio.gov/v1.1/schema
Catalog Describedby https://project-open-data.cio.gov/v1.1/schema/catalog.json
Data Quality true
Harvest Object Id 9b0a49e3-92e5-40dc-b386-03e69c6e7615
Harvest Source Id 9364572a-43e2-4cb5-a0ee-589c8af0e137
Harvest Source Title FWS-servecat
Data First Published 2001-01-01
Homepage URL https://ecos.fws.gov/ServCat/Reference/Profile/23399
Data Last Modified 2001-01-01
Program Code "010:094", "010:028"
Related Documents "https://ecos.fws.gov/ServCat/Reference/Profile/23399"
Source Datajson Identifier true
Source Hash 15a16c042d7734d7cf4d7bb23778a4a9ee9e624e
Source Schema Version 1.1
Category "Unpublished Report"

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