Freshwater mussels have byssal threads as juveniles, but not as adults. As delicious as they are, they can be a challenge to eat. 2000) -- a comprehensive book summarizing much of what we now know about the life history, distribution, status, conservation needs, and value of the State’s freshwater mussel fauna. (Text adapted from MDIFW Freshwater Mussels web page. IS it safe to eat mussels I have foraged from the shore then? Data for this map courtesy of B. Swartz, MDIFW, 2016. If you need assistance, view our PDF Help page, or email us. What good are they? Mussels can be eaten,but...they also harbour parasitic or other diseases.Some of them that is.Not only do they carry diseases they might also contain toxins,heavy metals etc.. Fortunately, compared to most states within the range of these rare mussels, Maine hosts some of the best remaining populations and may be a last stronghold. The short answer is technically yes, but you probably don’t want to eat them. MDIFW produced “The Freshwater Mussels of Maine” (Nedeau et al. The larger shell is a Paper Pondshell, one of the common freshwater pond mussels. There are many simple things you can do to help protect freshwater mussels. Fax: (207) 287-8094 or (207) 287-6395 Maine’s freshwater mussel fauna has fared relatively better than that of many states. More information on Maine’s mussels can be found in The Freshwater Mussels of Maine (Nedeau et al. Alert: Stay up to date on Maine's COVID-19 Response, Home → Fish & Wildlife → Wildlife → Species Information → Invertebrates → Rare Freshwater Mussels. Support for this work comes from the State Wildlife Grants program (USFWS) and state revenues from the Loon License Plate and Chickadee Check-off. As filter-feeders, freshwater mussels provide a vital service to Maine’s lakes, ponds, rivers and streams by removing suspended particles such as algae, bacteria, and detritus from the water column. Mussels can be eaten,but...they also harbour parasitic or other diseases.Some of them that is.Not only do they carry diseases they might also contain toxins,heavy metals etc.. Mussels bought alive must be eaten within two to three days of purchase. Tidewater Mucket 41 State House Station Some mussel species require particular fish hosts for … Many different species inhabit Ontario’s lakes and rivers and were eaten for centuries by First Nations peoples, particularly when game was scarce. 2000) -- a comprehensive book summarizing much of what we now know about the life history, distribution, status, conservation needs, and value of the State’s freshwater mussel fauna. document.write('&\#115;&\#116;&\#101;&\#119;&\#97;&\#114;&\#100;&\#115;@&\#108;&\#97;&\#107;'+''+'&\#101;&\#115;&\#116;&\#101;&\#119;&\#97;&\#114;&\#100;&\#115;&\#77;&\#69;.&\#111;&\#114;&\#103;<\/a>'). The freshwater clams of North America (also called freshwater mussels) are bivalves belonging to the super-family Unionacea. One obvious difference between freshwater and marine mussels is that freshwater mussels live in freshwater streams, rivers, ponds and lakes while marine mussels live in salt water oceans and bays. We have records of mussels collected Augusta, ME 04333-0041, Mailing Address: The Yellow Lampmussel and Tidewater Mucket are listed because of their restricted distribution in Maine – both are found only in the Penobscot, St. George and lower Kennebec River watersheds. 2000), available through the Department’s online store or Information Center (207-287-8000); and by visiting the state list of Endangered, Threatened, or Special Concern invertebrates. Of course freshwater clams can live in freshwater, but saltwater clams can live in freshwater for about a week What do giant freshwater stingrays eat? Augusta, ME 04333-0041, Phone: (207) 287-8000 Freshwater clams (mussels), unlike their seafood relatives (saltwater clams and oysters), have little economic importance as human food. Many different species inhabit Ontario’s lakes and rivers and were eaten for centuries by First Nations peoples, particularly when game was scarce. They can be. Discarding Dead Clams While you’re cleaning your clams or even after the purging process, you need to discard clams that are no longer alive, or else if you eat them, you may feel sick. Freshwater clams are edible, but their meat generally is tough and tasteless. Hollander & Dekoning Mussels Size: 10 pound bags - 15 mussels per pound Availability: Year-round. If you want to read a little bit more information on purging and cleaning clams, you can visit Weekend Notes and read their article on purging Freshwater Mussels. If you want a firm guarantee that the mussels that you have just plucked from the rock are free from toxins, viruses, bacteria, parasites, unwanted chemicals and everything else then you won’t get one. Mussels can be harvested all year, but most fishing is in the winter when the taste and quality of the meat is best (before the mussels begin spawning in spring and summer). They can be. Bangs Island Mussels from Maine . [from Zeto and Schmidt (1985)] WHAT ARE FRESHWATER MUSSELS? Dear Dave C and others, please be aware that freshwater mussels in the Wye are a precious resource and conservationists have been fighting to protect them. They are long-lived - more than 100 years for some species. Now, it’s difficult to find anything but eastern elliptio in the Delaware watershed. SCUBA diver and aquatic biologist, Canadian Museum of Nature. Historical references have shown a decrease of about 40 percent in the last fifty years. Weight Loss. One obvious difference between freshwater and marine mussels is that freshwater mussels live in freshwater streams, rivers, ponds and lakes while marine mussels live in salt water oceans and bays. You could have them checked out by a lab. Most are carrying certain freshwater worms that live inside the shell as well as other organisms. These dramatic declines have been caused largely by the degradation and loss of mussel habitat from pollution, dams, and the channelization and sedimentation of once clean, free-flowing rivers and streams. The Yellow Lampmussel and Tidewater Mucket are listed because of their restricted distribution in Maine – both are found only in the Penobscot, St. George and lower Kennebec River watersheds. Even saw Bear Grylls eat some on Man vs Wild. Most importantly, you can’t find juveniles. Wikipedia has an unsourced, one-line comment in the article about mussels: "Freshwater mussels nowadays are generally considered to be unpalatable, though the native peoples in North America utilized them extensively." Freshwater mussels are bivalve mollusks found in the benthos of rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds of various sizes. Check prices of moules frites and moules marinieres. • Keep or plant native vegetation along the shoreline of lakes, ponds, rivers and streams. Rangewide concerns for this species include very low population densities, fragmented distributions, and limited or no evidence of recruitment in some populations. Everyone in the Quoddy region knows the clam is a steamer, and has two fused siphons in its mantle and you peel the skin off these (the neck) before eating. Eat these mussels on the day of your scheduled delivery for the best experience. Most Canadians who love the outdoors have, at some point in time, seen empty shells of freshwater mussels, or clams, along the lake or river shore while enjoying their favorite recreational activities. This may have been covered before but does anyone have any experience with eating freshwater mussels, particularly from the Adirondacks? As filter-feeders, freshwater mussels provide a vital service to Maine’s lakes, ponds, rivers and streams by removing suspended particles such as algae, bacteria, and detritus from the water column. Storing and preparing mussels Ideally, you want to prepare and cook the mussels as soon after buying as possible, but as long as they’re fresh they will keep overnight and for up to a day. They eat shrimp ,small fish ,plankton ,and clams. 2000), available through the Department’s online store or Information Center (207-287-8000); and by visiting the state list of Endangered, Threatened, or Special Concern invertebrates. Fortunately, compared to most states within the range of these rare mussels, Maine hosts some of the best remaining populations and may be a last stronghold. Mussels are rich in the marine Omega-3s, EPA and DHA. Physical Address: Discarding Dead Clams While you’re cleaning your clams or even after the purging process, you need to discard clams that are no longer alive, or else if you eat them, you may feel sick. For tips on mussel eating etiquette and the confidence to order them without worry, read the instructions in this tutorial. Blue mussels are starting to decline in areas such as the Gulf of Maine. Even saw Bear Grylls eat some on Man vs Wild. This may have been covered before but does anyone have any experience with eating freshwater mussels, particularly from the Adirondacks? This assessment draws heavily on the information presented in the book, with They differ from saltwater bivalves in that freshwater mussels do not taste good at all. Richard Prideaux looks at the dangers from eating wild and foraged mussels. Freshwater mussels are are a valuable indicator of water quality and aquatic ecosystem health. Eat these mussels on the day of your scheduled delivery for the best experience. Freshwater mussels are bivalve mollusks found in the benthos of rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds of various sizes. Always limit storage time, as Bangs Island Mussels are always the most delicious when fresh. Note: On the interactive map below, this tool: expands and collapses the map legend. Boiling in salted water improves the flavor and texture. If you are trying to lose weight, mussels give you a lot of nutrition without a lot of calories. It often attains sizes of 2 to 4 inches. Saltwater clam and oyster farming is widespread and well developed, but freshwater clam farming is not currently practiced. Best leave those alone, too. Of Maine’s 10 native species, three (Yellow Lampmussel, Tidewater Mucket, Brook Floater) are currently listed as Threatened under the Maine Endangered Species Act and one (Creeper) is considered of Special Concern. 1-800-232-4733 or 207-624-7727. You don't have to end a meal of mussels with sticky fingers and dribbles of clam juice on their shirt. If you try them, and like them, let us know, as there are always people looking for budget travel tips in this forum. I have heard from people that they are poisonous and will make you sick but from research online it appears they are safe to eat. Check out our website; pick a County, pick a River and see if any mussels have been collected. [from Zeto and Schmidt (1985)] WHAT ARE FRESHWATER MUSSELS? 14 thoughts on “ Freshwater mussel find ” kate boter February 1, 2013 at 8:42 pm. Always limit storage time, as Bangs Island Mussels are always the most delicious when fresh. The Yellow Lampmussel and Tidewater Mucket are listed because of their restricted distribution in Maine – both are found only in the Penobscot, St. George and lower Kennebec River watersheds. In addition, since they are long-lived filter feeders, pollutants can easily settle and build up inside them, making them distasteful and potentially unhealthy for human consumption. get the field guide Freshwater Mussels of the Midwest, Join the Mussel Monitoring Program and go out and collect shells and report what you find Mussel Monitoring Program of Wisconsin. It depends on what you mean by ‘safe’. When you teach people about foraging and ‘wild food’ you often run the risk of sounding negative or over-cautious about the potential hazards that come from eating shellfish, or fungi,or whatever else it is that you are solemnly warning people about. Derek Davis, formerly Chief Curator of Natural History at the Nova Scotia Museum, has provided expert help in identifications, as well as in molluscan biology and ecology. ), freshwater mussels are sensitive to contaminants and changes in their environment. Site built by Yellahoose The smaller shell is a Lilliput, one of the smallest freshwater pond mussels, attaining a maximum size of 1.5 inches. Native Freshwater Mussels By André L. Martel, PhD. If harvesting recreationally or for personal consumption, check the DMR’s list of closed areas before collecting. TTY: Maine Relay 711 The Brook Floater is one of the rarest freshwater mussels in the Northeast. The freshwater pearl mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera) is an endangered species of freshwater mussel, an aquatic bivalve mollusc in the family Margaritiferidae.. What good are they? This assessment draws heavily on the information presented in the book, with The Freshwater Mussels of Maine Ethan J. Nedeau, Mark M. McCollough, and Beth I. Swartz This attractive book is the first comprehensive guide to the freshwater mussels of Maine, and includes all species that you would find in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, southern Vermont and the Canadian Maritime provinces. Can you eat them?" Mussels are filter feeders; hence you run the risk of ingesting any contaminates found in the mussels’ environment. You can eat mussels using you fingers, a fork, and a spoon. More information on Maine’s mussels can be found in The Freshwater Mussels of Maine (Nedeau et al. Although most species are edible, freshwater mussels are not as tasty as their saltwater relatives. Although some large populations of both species exist, they typically occur in low densities wherever they are found. Mussels in the market and on the menu are safe, when purchased from a certified shellfish dealer. They can be grilled, steamed, baked or fried. The freshwater clams of North America (also called freshwater mussels) are bivalves belonging to the super-family Unionacea. Because they constantly filter large volumes of water, reside in the benthic substrate, can’t leave their surroundings, and live a long time (more than 100 years for some species! Email us, Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, Opportunities for People with Disabilities, Rulemaking Proposals Open to Public Comment, Rare, Threatened, and Endangered Reptiles and Amphibians, Rare, Threatened, & Endangered Invertebrates, Freshwater Mussels Species Assessment (PDF). To view PDF documents, you will need the free Adobe Reader. If you want to read a little bit more information on purging and cleaning clams, you can visit Weekend Notes and read their article on purging Freshwater Mussels. Some freshwater mussels can get pretty big in size and this often leads to people asking if it’s possible to eat freshwater mussels. The Brook Floater is one of the rarest freshwater mussels in the Northeast. Are freshwater clams toxic? Explore best places to eat mussels in Portland, Maine and nearby. If their shells are broken, they are likely dead and not safe to eat. MDIFW is committed to its responsibility of conserving these rare species for the future and regularly works to ensure their habitats are protected and recovery and relocation plans are put in place when projects such as dam removals, bridge construction or dredging pose a threat. Mussels also have byssal threads for attachment, and clams don’t. H&D Mussels are grown by the DeKoning family in the waters of Mount Desert Island, Maine. The foot is the best part of the mussel but chewy because unlike salt water version most freshwater mussels move around. Of the nearly 300 species of freshwater mussels found in the United States, more than a third have already vanished or are in danger of extinction and over 75% are listed as Endangered, Threatened, or Special Concern on a state level. It is actually illegal to even handle them without a licence let alone dine on them. Look carefully for broken shells or clams with holes in their shells. Can you eat mussels straight from the beach? Bangs Island Mussels from Maine . The DeKonings, sixth generation mussel farmers, moved to Maine from the Netherlands to continue their mussel growing legacy in the States. Back in the early 1900s, there were about 14 species of native freshwater mussels in the Delaware River Basin. The Brook Floater is one of the rarest freshwater mussels in the Northeast. Can you eat them?" Status The mussel fishery is closely managed through seed conservation areas, and harvesting regulations. Get cooking inspiration to bring out the natural flavors of these mussels on the Maine … H&D Mussels are grown by the DeKoning family in the waters of Mount Desert Island, Maine. These molluscs are one of the most imperiled groups of animals in the country - of the nearly 300 species of freshwater mussels found in the U.S., more than a third have already vanished or are in danger of extinction; over 75% are listed as Endangered, Threatened, or Special Concern on a state level. Hollander & Dekoning Mussels Size: 10 pound bags - 15 mussels per pound Availability: Year-round. 284 State Street Mussels in Round Lake near Tampa have high levels of radiation caused by water management practices. Brook Floater. MDIFW produced “The Freshwater Mussels of Maine” (Nedeau et al. If you want to eat freshwater clams, they should be eaten fresh and alive so that you reduce your chances of getting sick. I have heard from people that they are poisonous and will make you sick but from research online it appears they are safe to eat. Strip of photos from top to bottom (all photos by Ethan Nedeau): Yellow Lampmussel Still, of our 10 native species, three (Yellow Lampmussel, Tidewater Mucket, Brook Floater) are currently listed as Threatened under the Maine Endangered Species Act and one (Creeper) is considered of Special Concern. Freshwater mussels are easy to spot along riverways where they occur, but they can be difficult to identify, as members of the same species can differ greatly in appearance. Get cooking inspiration to bring out the natural flavors of these mussels on the Maine … Consequently, they are a valuable indicator of water quality and aquatic ecosystem health, but they also are one of the most imperiled groups of animals in the country. If mussels are the main part of the recipe as in a bowl of steamed mussels then you’ll need about 500g per person. What you can do! Shoreland vegetation will help reduce the amountof pollution flowing into waterbodies by … The DeKonings, sixth generation mussel farmers, moved to Maine from the Netherlands to continue their mussel growing legacy in the States. Compare reviews of steamed mussels and mussels marinara. In some parts of the country, the accidental introduction of a prolific foreign competitor, the zebra mussel, is also jeopardizing many populations. With mussels you don’t have to do this. Data set may be viewed HERE.). These dramatic declines have been caused largely by the degradation and loss of mussel habitat from pollution, dams, and the channelization and sedimentation of once clean, free-flowing rivers and streams. We haven’t lost any species, our freshwater habitats are reasonably clean, and the zebra mussel has not yet found its way into our waterways. Well… maybe. Hosting by Packawhallop, © 2020 LakesofMaine.org     Terms of Use. 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