Blitzen River Mussel Survey
Malheur National Wildlife Refuge | August 30 – September 3, 2023
Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is one of five important Oregon strongholds identified by the Xerces Society for western ridged mussels. These freshwater bivalves are an important part of the Blitzen River ecosystem, filtering particulates out of the river as they feed. They’ve been proposed for listing under the Endangered Species Act, due to their regionwide population declines. We will primarily survey at the northern region of the Blitzen River, though with enough volunteers, we’ll head to the southern end of the Refuge to look for western pearlshell musssels. These surveys will require walking in the river in waders and using an aquascope to look through the water. There may be an opportunity to snorkel some reaches of the river in wetsuits for a few volunteers. There will be no bathroom access during this survey. Camping will be provided for volunteers and camping gear is available for volunteers to use.
Partners: Malheur National Wildlife Refuge
About the Survey
- Survey Instructions: Basic survey instructions are available including maps of survey areas.
- When: August 30 – September 3
- Where: Survey sites Blitzen River in the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
- Time Commitment: Three days, 1-2 for travel and 1-2 for surveys
- Reporting: Datasheets will be collected from Team Leaders and submitted to the Malheur NWR wildlife and Portland Audubon biologists.
- Trainings: Orientation to the protocol and western ridged mussels will be provided prior to surveying. Volunteers will work on a team.
- Equipment & Field Conditions: These surveys will require walking in the river in waders and using an aquascope to look through the water. There may be an opportunity to snorkel some reaches of the river in wetsuits for a few volunteers.
- Transportation: Transportation to Malheur NWR will be your responsibility. Refuge vehicles will be available for Team Leaders to drive participants to survey sites.
For questions contact Teresa Wicks, Eastern Oregon Field Coordinator, at email@example.com