In the news: Endangered mussels reintroduced in Illinois rivers doing well

July 5th, 2013 by

Hundreds of endangered mussels originally residing in the Allegheny River in Pennsylvania have been relocated to the Vermillion river in Illinois over the last several years, and the project appears to be a great success.

From the Environmental Almanac:

“Over the past three years, scientists from the Illinois Natural History Survey have translocated hundreds of mussels from the Allegheny River in Pennsylvania (where they lived beneath a bridge slated for demolition) to sites on the Middle Fork and Salt Fork of the Vermilion River.

The two species of mussels involved, clubshells and northern riffleshells, are both classified as ‘endangered’ by the federal government, and by dint of that status they are subjects of recovery plans coordinated by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Those plans call for them to be reestablished throughout their historical range, which includes Illinois…

During the day’s work, a total of 286 tagged mussels were located, just over half of the ones placed there. ‘That’s about what we would expect,’ explained Jeremy Tiemann, the Natural History Survey field biologist who is leading the translocation effort in Illinois. ‘Others may have been so close together or so deep the reader didn’t pick them up. It’s also possible some moved up or downstream a little ways.’”

Follow the link above to learn more about the project.

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