Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

June 27, 2014

UT Tyler awarded $300K grant to study freshwater mussels in East Texas

TYLER — The University of Texas at Tyler was awarded nearly $300,000 from the Texas Comptroller’s office to expand its study on East Texas freshwater mussels, Dr. Michael Odell, vice president for research and technology transfer, announced.

The UT Tyler research team, led by professor of biology and principal investigator Dr. Neil Ford, will assist the agency tostudy populations of six East Texas mussels – Texas Pigtoe, Triangle Pigtoe, Louisiana Pigtoe, Sandbank Pocketbook, Southern Hickorynut and Texas Heelsplitter – in the Sabine, Neches and San Jacinto Rivers. All but one, the Southern Hickorynut, are considered for protection through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the Endangered Species Act.

 “We will use predicted distribution maps, generated from our previous mussel data we collected over the last six-plus years from East Texas rivers, to identify sites of high mussel diversity,” Ford said. “We also will address genetic questions regarding the taxonomic status of Pigtoes and the Texas Heelsplitter in East Texas, since their populations are vague because both are difficult to identify in the field.”

Other UT Tyler co-collaborators are associate professor of biology Dr. Lance Williams, research associate Marsha Williams, assistant professor of biology Dr. Joshua Banta, associate professor of biology Dr. John Placyk and assistant professor of civil engineering Dr. Harmonie Hawley.

“Our surveys will allow us to identify potential locations of exotic species that might impact mussel communities. The finalproduct will identify critical habitat and areas of high conservation value for each of the six species that could be used by the USFWS for conservation planning and potential listing,” Ford said.

The team also will gather habitat characteristics and data on other mussel species presence to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the ecology of these extremely rare mussels.

“For the East Texas species under review, we havelocated larger populations in the upper Neches and Sabine Rivers where standard population analysis could occur,” he added. “This information can then be used to improve the niche models in the future.”

Text Only
Local News
  • Father Mark 3.tif Godspeed, Father

    The news that Father Mark Kusmirek would leave Jacksonville to accept a new assignment Aug. 1 in Longview spread quickly around town this month.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Alto City Council examines gas line issue

    City leaders have started looking into the process of moving a gas line that runs from Alto through Wells along U.S. Hwy. 69 to meet requirements of TxDOT, which is widening the road through the city.

    July 26, 2014

  • Proposed JISD budget to get hearing date

    Jacksonville school board members will meet Monday evening for a combination budget workshop, regular board meeting and a summer board retreat, according to an JISD meeting agenda.

    July 26, 2014

  • County leaders to consider backhoe purchase

    Cherokee County Commissioners' Court will meet in regular session 10 a.m. Monday in the County Courtroom in the County Courthouse to consider approval of a backhoe purchase through a cooperative purchasing exchange for Precinct 2.

    July 26, 2014

  • Sheriff's officials bust Mixon steroid lab

    About 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 24., investigators and deputies with the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office executed a search warrant at a residence on FM 3052 in the Mixon Community near Bullard.

    July 25, 2014

  • UPDATE: County co-op says many customers may not have power until Friday

    July 24, 2014

  • Old Jville Bearden Store.tif Longtime furniture store changes hands

    For the better part of a century, Bearden Furniture Co., Inc., has been the go-to place for local residents wanting to beautify their home.
    Furniture and accessories, carpeting, window treatments – even electronics at one point – were offered at the Commerce Street store, but on July 1, the family who started Bearden's sold the company to Louisiana-based Ivan Smith Furniture company.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Athens woman confesses to killing daughter

    A 25-year-old mother is in the Henderson County Jail after telling authorities that she had killed her four-year-old daughter, Monday

    July 24, 2014

  • Bullard: District names Jan Hill as deputy superintendent

    Bullard Independent School District is proud to announce Jan Hill as Deputy Superinten-dent. Hill will assume the new role effective immediately.

    July 24, 2014

  • ‘Christmas in July’ drive benefits area foster children

    Sure, December is still more than five months away, but Cherokee County residents are getting the chance to start spreading some holiday cheer a little early this year during the annual Christmas in July donation drive, benefitting the county's Rainbow Room.

    July 24, 2014