UC Riverside, Library, Water Resources Collections and Archives > Clearinghouse for Dam Removal Information (CDRI) > Unionid mussel mortality from habitat loss in the Salmon River, New York, following dam removal

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Title
Unionid mussel mortality from habitat loss in the Salmon River, New York, following dam removal
Alternative Title
Advances in Environmental Research Vol. 14, Pgs. 351-364
Creator
John Cooper
Date Created and/or Issued
2011
Publication Information
Nova Science
Contributing Institution
UC Riverside, Library, Water Resources Collections and Archives
Collection
Clearinghouse for Dam Removal Information (CDRI)
Rights Information
Copyrighted
Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
Description
Scope/Content: Abstract: Habitat loss generally involves alteration of the environment by the physical additions of bridges and dams, or removal of resources, such as dredging or timber cutting, that result in the loss of specific conditions that were required by aquatic organisms. Habitat alteration can also be caused by the removal of past alterations, which can result in the altered habitat being perturbed again with a concomitant loss of specific habitat conditions. The Fort Covington Dam was removed from the Salmon River in June, 2009, nearly 100 years after construction. The draining of the 1.3-hectare reservoir required only 25 hours and resulted in a lowering of the water level by 47 cm at the reservoir center (3.3 m at the dam). The rapid draining of the reservoir stranded, and subsequently killed, more than 3200 unionid mussels of eight species along the shorelines and in two adjacent ponds. Loss of shallow-water river habitat was estimated to be 30%, with a 66% loss of habitat in the ponds. The removal of the dam increased water velocity from 12 cm/s to 34 cm/s during low flow, and scoured sand deposits from the upstream riffle, shorelines, and sand bars that had formed in the reservoir. The volume of scoured sand deposited within the river 5 months after dam removal was estimated at 42,480 m3, which covered 1097 m of the river bottom to a depth of up to 1.5 m. Continued scouring has resulted in deposition in downstream portions of the river, leaving steep-sided shorelines with unstable coarse sand as the primary mussel habitat. Dam removal has been utilized in restoring rivers to a more natural state but can have unintended consequences: in this case the sudden reduction in the mussel population.
Scope/Content: Dam type: concrete
Scope/Content: Reservoir size: 12 acre-feet. Height: 3 meters. Length: 27 meters.
Scope/Content: Date constructed: 1912. Date removed: 2009.
Type
text
Identifier
ark:/86086/n2hx1ccs
1209
Language
English
eng
Subject
Ecology and river restoration
Dams
Dam retirement
Place
Salmon, NY
Fort Covington
Lat: 44 59 20; Long: 74 29 40

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