While the answer to the age-old joke: “Why did the chicken cross the road?” could be any number of things, the answer as to why 2000 freshwater mussels (genus Anodonta) made their way across 4 lanes of traffic, as well as freight and MAX rails is crystal clear, and no joke at all.
On Friday July 8th, as setup was underway for construction of new road crossings over Crystal Springs Creek at Glenwood Street and Bybee Boulevard (just north of Westmoreland Park), about 25 citizen-scientist volunteers and watershed specialist prepared to retrieve, measure, tag, and relocate mussels upstream out of the project area. The relocation crew consisted of volunteers from Johnson Creek Watershed Council and Crystal Springs Partnership with guidance from the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. Further support was provided by Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services staff.
Which leads me to my last question: “So, a mussel walks into a bar and asks, did you hear the one about the chicken….?”