The main methods for surveying mussels in the Tollway corridor include:

– snorkeling to visually search for mussels
– grubbing – feeling in the substrate for buried mussels
– incidental encounters

snorkeling to find mussels
measuring and marking mussels
grubbing for mussels
mussels being brought in for measurement
Hallprint tag on mussel
mussel foot
measuring mussels
marking mussels


I-90 post construction
– I-294
– IL53-IL120 extension assessment
IL Rt 390 extension
– Mussel Translocations
Long-term population monitoring



Tiemann, J.S., M.J. Dreslik, S.J. Baker, and C.A. Phillips. 2016. Assessment of a short-distance freshwater mussel relocation as viable tool during bridge construction projects. Freshwater Mollusk Biology and Conservation 19:80-87

Highlights from our work:

  • Approximately 60 percent of translocated mussels survived their first year, indicating this is likely an effective mitigation effort.
  • Twenty-one threatened or endangered species and two sensitive habitat types have been found in the Rt 53 North Extension corridor historically, but thus far only 6 of the species have been found, 4 plants and 2 fishes.