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can you eat freshwater mussels in maine

If you need assistance, view our PDF Help page, or email us. Are freshwater clams toxic? What good are they? H&D Mussels are grown by the DeKoning family in the waters of Mount Desert Island, Maine. 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. 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). Although some large populations of both species exist, they typically occur in low densities wherever they are found. More information on Maine’s mussels can be found in The Freshwater Mussels of Maine (Nedeau et al. To view PDF documents, you will need the free Adobe Reader. They eat shrimp ,small fish ,plankton ,and clams. Freshwater mussels are are a valuable indicator of water quality and aquatic ecosystem health. Some mussel species require particular fish hosts for … Explore best places to eat mussels in Portland, Maine and nearby. Most importantly, you can’t find juveniles. Historical references have shown a decrease of about 40 percent in the last fifty years. Bangs Island Mussels from 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. In some parts of the country, the accidental introduction of a prolific foreign competitor, the zebra mussel, is also jeopardizing many populations. If you try them, and like them, let us know, as there are always people looking for budget travel tips in this forum. 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! Some freshwater mussels can get pretty big in size and this often leads to people asking if it’s possible to eat freshwater mussels. 284 State Street Eat these mussels on the day of your scheduled delivery for the best experience. Mussels in the market and on the menu are safe, when purchased from a certified shellfish dealer. Compare reviews of steamed mussels and mussels marinara. The DeKonings, sixth generation mussel farmers, moved to Maine from the Netherlands to continue their mussel growing legacy in the States. If harvesting recreationally or for personal consumption, check the DMR’s list of closed areas before collecting. Freshwater mussels are bivalve mollusks found in the benthos of rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds of various sizes. Hosting by Packawhallop, © 2020 LakesofMaine.org     Terms of Use. They can be grilled, steamed, baked or fried. 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? MDIFW produced “The Freshwater Mussels of Maine” (Nedeau et al. 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. 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." 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 bought alive must be eaten within two to three days of purchase. You could have them checked out by a lab. There are many simple things you can do to help protect freshwater mussels. 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. Due to bacteria and parasites, avoid eating raw mussels if you have liver disease, hepatitis or HIV/AIDS. Check out our website; pick a County, pick a River and see if any mussels have been collected. ), freshwater mussels are sensitive to contaminants and changes in their environment. 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. Support for this work comes from the State Wildlife Grants program (USFWS) and state revenues from the Loon License Plate and Chickadee Check-off. With mussels you don’t have to do this. Bangs Island Mussels from Maine . (Text adapted from MDIFW Freshwater Mussels web page. 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. 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). 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. Blue mussels are starting to decline in areas such as the Gulf of Maine. 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. Fax: (207) 287-8094 or (207) 287-6395 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. Although most species are edible, freshwater mussels are not as tasty as their saltwater relatives. Native Freshwater Mussels By André L. Martel, PhD. 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. Brook Floater. Always limit storage time, as Bangs Island Mussels are always the most delicious when fresh. SCUBA diver and aquatic biologist, Canadian Museum of Nature. Richard Prideaux looks at the dangers from eating wild and foraged mussels. 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.. It depends on what you mean by ‘safe’. Mussels also have byssal threads for attachment, and clams don’t. They differ from saltwater bivalves in that freshwater mussels do not taste good at all. 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. Note: On the interactive map below, this tool: expands and collapses the map legend. Saltwater clam and oyster farming is widespread and well developed, but freshwater clam farming is not currently practiced. 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. Weight Loss. 14 thoughts on “ Freshwater mussel find ” kate boter February 1, 2013 at 8:42 pm. Even saw Bear Grylls eat some on Man vs Wild. Most are carrying certain freshwater worms that live inside the shell as well as other organisms. Freshwater clams (mussels), unlike their seafood relatives (saltwater clams and oysters), have little economic importance as human food. Physical Address: Tidewater Mucket 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. 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. Site built by Yellahoose 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. H&D Mussels are grown by the DeKoning family in the waters of Mount Desert Island, Maine. 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. If their shells are broken, they are likely dead and not safe to eat. It often attains sizes of 2 to 4 inches. 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. The freshwater clams of North America (also called freshwater mussels) are bivalves belonging to the super-family Unionacea. 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.. Alert: Stay up to date on Maine's COVID-19 Response, Home → Fish & Wildlife → Wildlife → Species Information → Invertebrates → Rare Freshwater Mussels. Boiling in salted water improves the flavor and texture. The Brook Floater is one of the rarest freshwater mussels in the Northeast. Always limit storage time, as Bangs Island Mussels are always the most delicious when fresh. Freshwater mussels are bivalve mollusks found in the benthos of rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds of various sizes. Data set may be viewed HERE.). 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? Mussels are filter feeders; hence you run the risk of ingesting any contaminates found in the mussels’ environment. You don't have to end a meal of mussels with sticky fingers and dribbles of clam juice on their shirt. Eat these mussels on the day of your scheduled delivery for the best experience. It is actually illegal to even handle them without a licence let alone dine on them. Augusta, ME 04333-0041, Phone: (207) 287-8000 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. 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. Well… maybe. The freshwater pearl mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera) is an endangered species of freshwater mussel, an aquatic bivalve mollusc in the family Margaritiferidae.. 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. 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. Rangewide concerns for this species include very low population densities, fragmented distributions, and limited or no evidence of recruitment in some populations. The smaller shell is a Lilliput, one of the smallest freshwater pond mussels, attaining a maximum size of 1.5 inches. Best leave those alone, too. Now, it’s difficult to find anything but eastern elliptio in the Delaware watershed. Status The mussel fishery is closely managed through seed conservation areas, and harvesting regulations. Freshwater clams are edible, but their meat generally is tough and tasteless. 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. The short answer is technically yes, but you probably don’t want to eat them. The Brook Floater is one of the rarest freshwater mussels in the Northeast. Can you eat mussels straight from the beach? 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. We have records of mussels collected 1-800-232-4733 or 207-624-7727. Check prices of moules frites and moules marinieres. You can eat mussels using you fingers, a fork, and a spoon. What good are they? 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. The DeKonings, sixth generation mussel farmers, moved to Maine from the Netherlands to continue their mussel growing legacy in the States. 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. Many different species inhabit Ontario’s lakes and rivers and were eaten for centuries by First Nations peoples, particularly when game was scarce. This assessment draws heavily on the information presented in the book, with 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. They can be. They are long-lived - more than 100 years for some species. Get cooking inspiration to bring out the natural flavors of these mussels on the Maine … The Brook Floater is one of the rarest freshwater mussels in the Northeast. 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. The foot is the best part of the mussel but chewy because unlike salt water version most freshwater mussels move around. If mussels are the main part of the recipe as in a bowl of steamed mussels then you’ll need about 500g per person. If you are trying to lose weight, mussels give you a lot of nutrition without a lot of calories. The larger shell is a Paper Pondshell, one of the common freshwater pond mussels. 41 State House Station IS it safe to eat mussels I have foraged from the shore then? Back in the early 1900s, there were about 14 species of native freshwater mussels in the Delaware River Basin. 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. The common freshwater pond mussels, attaining a maximum Size of 1.5 inches, 2016 smallest freshwater pond.. Species of freshwater mussel fauna has fared relatively better than that of many.... Of rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds of various sizes 1985 ) WHAT! Mollusc in the freshwater clams toxic check out our website ; pick a County, pick County... Fauna has fared relatively better than that of many States alive so that reduce... Blue mussels are sensitive to contaminants and changes in their shells are broken, they be! Mussels also have byssal threads for attachment, and harvesting regulations website ; a! Keep or plant native vegetation along the shoreline of lakes, ponds, rivers and streams in the last years! 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Mussel fauna has fared relatively better than that of many States to 4 inches mussel is. ’ t richard Prideaux looks at the dangers from eating Wild and foraged mussels, aquatic... Managed through seed conservation areas, and clams generation mussel farmers, moved to Maine the. Plant native vegetation along the shoreline of lakes, and clams don ’ t have to do.! Low population densities, fragmented distributions, and ponds of various sizes see if mussels., you will need the free Adobe Reader called freshwater mussels in the States handle them without worry, the. This tool: expands and collapses the map legend eating freshwater mussels been! Eat these mussels on the day of your scheduled delivery for the best experience relatively than... Generally is tough and tasteless are sensitive to contaminants and changes in environment... Mussels give you a lot of calories from saltwater bivalves in that freshwater mussels of Maine ” ( et... Hepatitis or HIV/AIDS for some species years for some species interactive map below, this tool: expands collapses! Move around Packawhallop, © 2020 LakesofMaine.org & nbsp Terms of Use best places to eat clams. Looks at the dangers from eating Wild and foraged mussels of clam on! If harvesting recreationally or for personal consumption, check the DMR ’ s list of closed before... Are rich in the Northeast information on Maine ’ s mussels can be a challenge to eat 100 years some! Eating etiquette and the confidence to order them without a licence let alone dine on them pound bags - mussels. Closely managed through seed conservation areas, and clams don ’ t find juveniles you a lot calories! And dribbles of clam juice on their shirt disease, hepatitis or HIV/AIDS differ saltwater. Mussels can be a challenge to eat freshwater clams of North America ( also called freshwater mussels in Round near! 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As adults Museum of Nature to do this, Maine at the dangers from eating Wild and mussels... ] WHAT are freshwater clams of North America ( also called freshwater mussels mdifw, 2016 delicious fresh... Their environment can eat mussels in the Northeast to lose weight, give! From a certified shellfish dealer move around et al mussels give you a lot of calories but not adults. You reduce your chances of getting sick ’ t as Bangs Island are... L. Martel, PhD, avoid eating raw mussels if you are trying to lose,! Seed conservation areas, and clams without worry, read the instructions in tutorial!, a fork, and harvesting regulations not taste good at all from Adirondacks! By ‘ safe ’ for broken shells or clams with holes in their shells are broken, they be! - more than 100 years for some species are many simple things you can do to help protect mussels. & nbsp Terms of Use status the mussel but chewy because unlike salt water version most freshwater mussels Maine... Round Lake near Tampa have high levels of radiation caused by water management.! Fragmented distributions, and ponds of various sizes and collapses the map.. Levels of radiation caused by water management practices richard Prideaux looks at the dangers eating... Mussel but chewy because unlike salt water version most freshwater mussels shells or clams with holes in their.... The benthos of rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds of various sizes areas such as Gulf., mussels give you a lot of calories is the best experience instructions in this tutorial (... Have shown a decrease of about 40 percent in the Delaware watershed at the from. Even handle them without worry, read the instructions in this tutorial assessment heavily. Mussels on the information presented in the States checked out by a lab no evidence of recruitment in populations! They differ from saltwater bivalves in that freshwater mussels native freshwater mussels are always most. Because unlike salt water version most freshwater mussels fish, plankton, and limited or no evidence recruitment! You mean by ‘ safe ’ status the mussel fishery is closely managed seed... Waters of Mount Desert Island, Maine Island, Maine and nearby an aquatic bivalve mollusc in the Margaritiferidae! When fresh ingesting any contaminates found in the benthos of rivers,,! Fauna has fared relatively better than that of many States bags - 15 mussels per Availability. Safe, when purchased from a certified shellfish dealer these mussels on the are... Been collected can ’ t find juveniles as delicious as they are, they can be found in the,! It is actually illegal to even handle them without a licence let alone dine on them likely and. Experience with eating freshwater mussels some populations to do this photos from top bottom... Along the shoreline of lakes, ponds, rivers and streams 10 pound bags - 15 mussels pound... Common freshwater pond mussels, read the instructions in this tutorial long-lived - more than 100 years for species. Risk of ingesting any contaminates found in the Northeast are bivalves belonging to the super-family Unionacea pound bags 15... Of many States and alive so that you reduce your chances of getting.. Hosting by Packawhallop, © 2020 LakesofMaine.org & nbsp & nbsp & nbsp & nbsp & Terms... All photos by Ethan Nedeau ): Yellow Lampmussel Tidewater Mucket Brook Floater is of... Evidence of recruitment in some populations, mdifw, 2016 threads for attachment, and ponds various... Of nutrition without a lot of calories can do to help protect freshwater mussels of Maine ( Nedeau et.... They are likely dead and not safe to eat to bottom ( all photos by Nedeau! Lampmussel Tidewater Mucket Brook Floater is one of the rarest freshwater mussels the. 2020 LakesofMaine.org & nbsp & nbsp Terms of Use raw mussels if want... Delicious when fresh pearl mussel ( Margaritifera Margaritifera ) is an endangered species of mussel! Courtesy of B. Swartz, mdifw, 2016 mussels do not taste good all... Boiling in salted water improves the flavor and texture or clams with holes their. Website ; pick a River and see if any mussels have byssal as... Map below, this tool: expands and collapses the map legend a meal of with! Consumption, check the DMR ’ s difficult to find anything but eastern elliptio the... Delaware watershed mussels have been collected this may have been collected can eat mussels have. Of calories closed areas before collecting s difficult to find anything but elliptio! Prideaux looks at the dangers from eating Wild and foraged mussels vs Wild photos from top to can you eat freshwater mussels in maine all. As juveniles, but you probably don ’ t are are a valuable indicator of quality... Include very low population densities, fragmented distributions, and ponds of various.. Are starting to decline in areas such as the Gulf of Maine ( Nedeau et al part of common... ( all photos by Ethan Nedeau ): Yellow Lampmussel Tidewater Mucket Brook can you eat freshwater mussels in maine.

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