WESTERN FANSHELL MUSSEL
This freshwater mussel is almost round in outline, usually flattened laterally, and ranges up to 2 inches in diameter. The shell has a shallow depression running from the umbo (beak) to the ventral margin which is bumpy and wrinkled. The shell also has distinctive rays.
This species is an obligate riverine species found in mud, sand, gravel and cobble substrate, generally associated with less than three feet of water. Historically found in low densities in the Fall, Verdigris, Neosho, and Spring Rivers. Appears to be extirpated from the Neosho River. Surveys from 2000-2010 have documented populations in the Verdigris and Spring Rivers.
Western Fanshell Mussels are protected by the Kansas Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act and administrative regulations applicable thereto. Any time an eligible project is proposed that will impact the species’ preferred habitats within its probable range, the project sponsor must contact the Ecological Services Section, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, 512 SE 25th Ave., Pratt, Kansas 67124-8174. Department personnel can then advise the project sponsor on permit requirements.DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITATS
As defined by Kansas Administrative Regulations, critical habitats include those areas documented as currently supporting self-sustaining population(s) of any threatened or endangered species of wildlife as well as those areas determined by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism to be essential for the conservation of any threatened or endangered species of wildlife.
Currently, the following areas are designated critical for Western Fanshell Mussels:
- Spring River: from where the Spring River first enters Kansas to the confluence of Center Creek (Cherokee Co.); from Empire Lake dam (Cherokee Co.) to the Kansas-Oklahoma border.
- Fall River: from Fall River dam (Greenwood Co.) to the river’s confluence with the Verdigris River (Wilson Co.); from K-99 to Fall River Lake (Greenwood Co.).
- Verdigris River: from K-47 (Wilson Co.) to the city of Independence (Montgomery Co.).
- Neosho River: from John Redmond dam to the Kansas-Oklahoma border (Coffey, Woodson, Allen, Neosho, Cherokee and Labette Co.).
- Shoal Creek: from the Kansas-Oklahoma border to Empire Lake (Cherokee Co.).
- Verdigris River: from Toronto Lake dam to the city of Independence, (Montgomery Co.) to the Kansas-Oklahoma border.
- Elk River: from Elk Falls (Elk County) to the Elk-Montgomery county line.