Chicago River Wildlife: Softshell Turtle Spotted

One of our dedicated canoe guides, Ethan Johnson, recently recorded a short video of a softshell turtle in the North Branch of the Chicago River near River Park.. It's another reminder of the abundant wildlife of the river system.

Turtle Habitat Restoration 

In Illinois there are two softshell turtle species – the spiny softshell Apalone spinifera) and the smooth softshell (A. mutica) – which are similar in appearance but can be distinguished by their nostrils. Learn more about softshell turtles here, and more information about Friends’ habitat restoration work to support turtles can be found on our blog

More Video of River System Wildlife

A mindful walk in a forest preserve or park or a paddle on the Chicago and Calumet rivers will reveal creatures great and small. We’d love to see your photos and videos of wildlife in and around the Chicago and Calumet rivers. Please send us copies at

Learn More About River Ecology & Wildlife