Laura M. Chapman, PMP, Performs Mussel Survey & Relocation

Belton, TX

KPA Engineers, in collaboration with Covey Planning & Landscape Architecture, are currently working on a project that will include the development of a fishing pier with associated structures located on the Leon River in Belton, Texas. This project will provide the public with a place to enjoy outdoor recreational activities, including kayaking, paddle boarding, and fishing. 

A vital component of the project involves KPA’s partnership with Arrowhead Ecology to ensure no native or endangered freshwater mussels are near the fishing pier construction. Freshwater mussels are sensitive shellfish with a select window of time to be relocated, thus moving quickly to rehome the species importance. Once water temperatures reach 60°F, the mussels will no longer be eligible for relocation due to low water temperatures causing the mussels to become inactive. Lack of activity will not provide the mussels time to re-establish themselves in the substrate, leaving them vulnerable to predators or causing them to be swept downstream.  

KPA’s Environmental Scientist, Laura Chapman, PMP, and Arrowhead Ecology performed a freshwater mussel survey by scuba diving in the area. No native or endangered mussels were detected during the survey.