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.


Curtis, A., J.S. Tiemann, S.A. Douglass, M.A. Davis, and E. Larson. 2020. High stream flows dilute environmental DNA (eDNA) concentrations and reduce detectibility. Diversity and Distributions 2020:00:1–14.
Douglass, S.A., E. Reasor, J.S. Tiemann, A.P. Stodola, S. McMurray, and B. Poulton. 2020. Recent evaluation of Corbicula Form D distribution in the Midwest, U.S.A. American Midland Naturalist 183(1):136–142.
Chiavacci, S.J., A.P. Stodola, and S.A. Douglass. 2018. Natural and anthropogenic factors predict the presence of two freshwater mussels (Bivalvia: Unionidae) in Illinois, U.S.A. Freshwater Science 37(4). (December 2018): 870–884.
Tiemann J.S., C. Lawlis, and S.A. Douglass. 2018. First occurrence of a novel Corbicula Form D lineage in the Ohio River. Nautilus 132(1):30–32.
Cao, Y., K.S. Cummings, L. Hinz, S.A. Douglass, A.P. Stodola, and A.M. Holtrop. 2017. Reconstructing the natural distribution of individual unionid mussel species and species diversity in wadeable streams in Illinois, USA with reference to stream bioassessment. Freshwater Science 30(3):669–682.
Tiemann, J.S., A.E. Haponski, S.A. Douglass, T. Lee, K.S. Cummings, M.A. Davis, and D.O. Foighil. 2017. First record of a putative novel invasive Corbicula lineage discovered in the Illinois River, Illinois, USA. BioInvasions Records 6(2):159–166.
Fritts, A.K., A.P. Stodola, S.A. Douglass, and R.M. Vinsel. 2016. Investigation of freshwater mussel glochidia on Asian carp and native fishes of the Illinois River. Freshwater Mollusk Biology and Conservation 19: 22–28.
Tiemann, J.S., S.A. Douglass, A.P. Stodola, and K.S. Cummings. 2016. Effects of lowhead dams on freshwater mussels in the Vermilion River basin, Illinois, with comments on a natural dam removal. Transactions of the Illinois State Academy of Science 109:1–7.
Tiemann, J. S., M. J. Dreslik, S. J. Baker, and C. A. Phillips. 2016. Assessment of a short-distance freshwater mussel relocation as a viable tool during bridge construction projects. Freshwater Mollusk Biology and Conservation 19:80–87.
Cao, Y., A.P. Stodola, S.A. Douglass, D. Shasteen, K.S. Cummings, and A. Holtrop. 2015. Modelling and mapping the distribution, diversity, and abundance of freshwater mussels (Family Unionidae) in wadeable streams of Illinois, U.S.A. Freshwater Biology 60:1379–1397.
Shasteen, D.K., S.A. Douglass, and A.P. Stodola. 2015. Occurrence of the Little Spectaclecase Villosa lienosa (Conrad, 1834) (Mollusca: Unionidae) downstream of the Wabash and Ohio River confluence in Academy of Science 108:5–6.