FLAT FLOATER MUSSEL (Anodonta suborbiculata)
The Flat Floater is a large, thin-shelled mussel, often reaching 7+ inches long in 5-7 years. The shell is roundly oval in outline and moderately inflated. Color is straw-yellow to dark brown. Nacre (inside color) is iridescent light salmon colored.
In Kansas, the Flat Floater seems to prefer shallow areas of relatively permanent oxbow lakes having organically rich mud bottoms. This preferred habitat is subject to water level changes due to fluctuations in runoff water and flood flows that recharge oxbow lakes. Flat Floaters appear, however, to be able to repopulate suitable areas when favorable habitat conditions return. The current probable range of the Flat Floater in Kansas is restricted to the lower reaches of the Neosho and Marais des Cygnes Rivers.
SPECIES PROTECTION AND CRITICAL HABITATS
Flat Floater 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 Flat Floater Mussels:
All oxbow lakes within the following described land parcels:
(1) NE 1/4 Sec. 32 and N 1/2 and SE 1/4 Sec. 33 in T26S, R18E, Allen County.
(2) All water within the Marais des Cygnes Wildlife Area located in Linn County.
(3) E 1/2 Sec. 7 and Secs. 25, 34, 35 in T20S, R24E; Secs. 1, 2 in T21S, R24E, and NE 1/4 Sec. 10, T21S, R25E, Linn County.
(4) SE 1/4 Sec. 20, SW 1/4 Sec. 21, NW 1/4 Sec. 28, NE 1/4 Sec. 29, SE 1/4 Sec. 33 in T23S, R17E, and Sec. 3, NE 1/4 Sec. 4 in T24S, R17E, Woodson County.