Native Freshwater Mussels
TRA has worked closely with the Austin and Arlington U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Field Offices on native mussel issues since 2016. There are currently two species of native mussels under consideration for federal protection by the USFWS: the Texas fawnsfoot and the Texas heelsplitter. Both of these species are currently listed as state-threatened by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). TRA has provided the USFWS white papers, data, and reach-specific information on water quality, hydraulic, and hydrologic characteristics of the Trinity River basin in order to incorporate the best available scientific information into the decision-making process.
TRA has sponsored research activities along the mainstem of the Trinity River and TRA staff have worked closely with TPWD researching native mussels throughout the Trinity River basin. The Authority recently contracted with a dive team to relocate native mussels on the Elm Fork Trinity River under an Aquatic Resource Relocation Plan permit with TPWD during a construction project on the Elm Fork Trinity River.
TRA continues to be an active partner with the USFWS, TPWD, and Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts office (TCPA) on native mussel projects in the Trinity River basin and throughout the state. TRA is a member of the Texas Native Mussel Workgroup which meets annually to coordinate on freshwater mussel issues and discuss ongoing and future research initiatives.
Please click on the links below to visit the USFWS for more information on each specific species.
Texas fawnsfoot (https://ecos.fws.gov/ecp/species/8965 )
Texas heelsplitter (https://ecos.fws.gov/ecp/species/299)