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The Vermilion River basin remains one of the highest quality and biodiverse stream systems in Illinois with 45 species of freshwater mussels and ~100 species of fishes. Although the watershed is primarily agriculture, most stream reaches have largely intact riparian zones and sand, gravel, and cobble substrates. Several restoration projects are occurring in the basin, and in this presentation, we will discuss two actively occurring projects aimed at enhancing freshwater mussel assemblages. The first project will reflect how a salvage project in Pennsylvania has provided an opportunity for the translocation of two federally-endangered species back into Illinois, and the second will discuss two upcoming dam removals occurring in the basin and how these dams appear to have affected mussel populations. However, the basin does face serious anthropogenic threats. A proposed coal mine would potentially withdraw water and output mining effluent, and a large water treatment plants is prepared to ship their wastewater to a fertilizer plant, removing a significant proportion of the base flow in the basin. These factors and their potential effects on mussels will be discussed.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSociety for Freshwater Science 2016 Annual Meeting, Sacramento, California
StatePublished - 2016


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