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. 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. 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. Blue mussels are starting to decline in areas such as the Gulf of Maine. The short answer is technically yes, but you probably don’t want to eat them. To view PDF documents, you will need the free Adobe Reader. Back in the early 1900s, there were about 14 species of native freshwater mussels in the Delaware River Basin. 284 State Street Maine’s freshwater mussel fauna has fared relatively better than that of many states. If you want to eat freshwater clams, they should be eaten fresh and alive so that you reduce your chances of getting sick. 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. 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. Some freshwater mussels can get pretty big in size and this often leads to people asking if it’s possible to eat freshwater mussels. 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 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. IS it safe to eat mussels I have foraged from the shore then? 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. The Brook Floater is one of the rarest freshwater mussels in the Northeast. Tidewater Mucket Now, it’s difficult to find anything but eastern elliptio in the Delaware watershed. 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. Check prices of moules frites and moules marinieres. It often attains sizes of 2 to 4 inches. 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. Freshwater clams are edible, but their meat generally is tough and tasteless. • Keep or plant native vegetation along the shoreline of lakes, ponds, rivers and streams. Augusta, ME 04333-0041, Mailing Address: 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. There are many simple things you can do to help protect freshwater mussels. In some parts of the country, the accidental introduction of a prolific foreign competitor, the zebra mussel, is also jeopardizing many populations. They can be grilled, steamed, baked or fried. More information on Maine’s mussels can be found in The Freshwater Mussels of Maine (Nedeau et al. Freshwater mussels are bivalve mollusks found in the benthos of rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds of various sizes. Best leave those alone, too. 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. Get cooking inspiration to bring out the natural flavors of these mussels on the Maine … Get cooking inspiration to bring out the natural flavors of these mussels on the Maine … This assessment draws heavily on the information presented in the book, with Rangewide concerns for this species include very low population densities, fragmented distributions, and limited or no evidence of recruitment in some populations. Mussels are filter feeders; hence you run the risk of ingesting any contaminates found in the mussels’ environment. 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. You can eat mussels using you fingers, a fork, and a spoon. Freshwater clams (mussels), unlike their seafood relatives (saltwater clams and oysters), have little economic importance as human food. Even saw Bear Grylls eat some on Man vs Wild. 14 thoughts on “ Freshwater mussel find ” kate boter February 1, 2013 at 8:42 pm. The freshwater pearl mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera) is an endangered species of freshwater mussel, an aquatic bivalve mollusc in the family Margaritiferidae.. TTY: Maine Relay 711 What good are they? 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. Although some large populations of both species exist, they typically occur in low densities wherever they are found. Strip of photos from top to bottom (all photos by Ethan Nedeau): Yellow Lampmussel Native Freshwater Mussels By André L. Martel, PhD. 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.. Freshwater mussels are bivalve mollusks found in the benthos of rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds of various sizes. 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. 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. Even saw Bear Grylls eat some on Man vs Wild. If you need assistance, view our PDF Help page, or email us. The freshwater clams of North America (also called freshwater mussels) are bivalves belonging to the super-family Unionacea. Can you eat them?" Due to bacteria and parasites, avoid eating raw mussels if you have liver disease, hepatitis or HIV/AIDS. What you can do! Data set may be viewed HERE.). Mussels are rich in the marine Omega-3s, EPA and DHA. Check out our website; pick a County, pick a River and see if any mussels have been collected. If mussels are the main part of the recipe as in a bowl of steamed mussels then you’ll need about 500g per person. Weight Loss. 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 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. This assessment draws heavily on the information presented in the book, with Mussels bought alive must be eaten within two to three days of purchase. You don't have to end a meal of mussels with sticky fingers and dribbles of clam juice on their shirt. Explore best places to eat mussels in Portland, Maine and nearby. Fax: (207) 287-8094 or (207) 287-6395 If you are trying to lose weight, mussels give you a lot of nutrition without a lot of calories. Mussels in the market and on the menu are safe, when purchased from a certified shellfish dealer. Most are carrying certain freshwater worms that live inside the shell as well as other organisms. The freshwater clams of North America (also called freshwater mussels) are bivalves belonging to the super-family Unionacea. The DeKonings, sixth generation mussel farmers, moved to Maine from the Netherlands to continue their mussel growing legacy in the States. It depends on what you mean by ‘safe’. 41 State House Station Bangs Island Mussels from Maine . 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. 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.. 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. Brook Floater. (Text adapted from MDIFW Freshwater Mussels web page. Richard Prideaux looks at the dangers from eating wild and foraged mussels. Shoreland vegetation will help reduce the amountof pollution flowing into waterbodies by … 1-800-232-4733 or 207-624-7727. If harvesting recreationally or for personal consumption, check the DMR’s list of closed areas before collecting. With mussels you don’t have to do this. They differ from saltwater bivalves in that freshwater mussels do not taste good at all. What good are they? MDIFW produced “The Freshwater Mussels of Maine” (Nedeau et al. Always limit storage time, as Bangs Island Mussels are always the most delicious when fresh. The Brook Floater is one of the rarest freshwater mussels in the Northeast. The Brook Floater is one of the rarest freshwater mussels in the Northeast. We have records of mussels collected ), freshwater mussels are sensitive to contaminants and changes in their environment. Freshwater mussels are are a valuable indicator of water quality and aquatic ecosystem health. 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. It is actually illegal to even handle them without a licence let alone dine on them. 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). Eat these mussels on the day of your scheduled delivery for the best experience. 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! Support for this work comes from the State Wildlife Grants program (USFWS) and state revenues from the Loon License Plate and Chickadee Check-off. Can you eat them?" Are freshwater clams toxic? Look carefully for broken shells or clams with holes in their shells. 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. Mussels also have byssal threads for attachment, and clams don’t. 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. H&D Mussels are grown by the DeKoning family in the waters of Mount Desert Island, Maine. SCUBA diver and aquatic biologist, Canadian Museum of Nature. Hosting by Packawhallop, © 2020 LakesofMaine.org     Terms of Use. Mussels in Round Lake near Tampa have high levels of radiation caused by water management practices. 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. 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 try them, and like them, let us know, as there are always people looking for budget travel tips in this forum. 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. More information on Maine’s mussels can be found in The Freshwater Mussels of Maine (Nedeau et al. [from Zeto and Schmidt (1985)] WHAT ARE FRESHWATER MUSSELS? [from Zeto and Schmidt (1985)] WHAT ARE FRESHWATER MUSSELS? 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. You could have them checked out by a lab. Well… maybe. Freshwater mussels have byssal threads as juveniles, but not as adults. They can be. They can be. Saltwater clam and oyster farming is widespread and well developed, but freshwater clam farming is not currently practiced. If their shells are broken, they are likely dead and not safe to eat. 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. 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. For tips on mussel eating etiquette and the confidence to order them without worry, read the instructions in this tutorial. They are long-lived - more than 100 years for some species. 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. Boiling in salted water improves the flavor and texture. As delicious as they are, they can be a challenge to eat. Many different species inhabit Ontario’s lakes and rivers and were eaten for centuries by First Nations peoples, particularly when game was scarce. Hollander & Dekoning Mussels Size: 10 pound bags - 15 mussels per pound Availability: Year-round. Can you eat mussels straight from the beach? Some mussel species require particular fish hosts for … Hollander & Dekoning Mussels Size: 10 pound bags - 15 mussels per pound Availability: Year-round. 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>'). Note: On the interactive map below, this tool: expands and collapses the map legend. Although most species are edible, freshwater mussels are not as tasty as their saltwater relatives. This may have been covered before but does anyone have any experience with eating freshwater mussels, particularly from the Adirondacks? The smaller shell is a Lilliput, one of the smallest freshwater pond mussels, attaining a maximum size of 1.5 inches. Augusta, ME 04333-0041, Phone: (207) 287-8000 Eat these mussels on the day of your scheduled delivery for the best experience. Historical references have shown a decrease of about 40 percent in the last fifty years. 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). 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. This may have been covered before but does anyone have any experience with eating freshwater mussels, particularly from the Adirondacks? The foot is the best part of the mussel but chewy because unlike salt water version most freshwater mussels move around. 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. 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. 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? Physical Address: Status The mussel fishery is closely managed through seed conservation areas, and harvesting regulations. 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. 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. 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. 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. H&D Mussels are grown by the DeKoning family in the waters of Mount Desert Island, Maine. Most importantly, you can’t find juveniles. They eat shrimp ,small fish ,plankton ,and clams. Bangs Island Mussels from Maine . Data for this map courtesy of B. Swartz, MDIFW, 2016. The larger shell is a Paper Pondshell, one of the common freshwater pond 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. 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." Site built by Yellahoose Always limit storage time, as Bangs Island Mussels are always the most delicious when fresh. 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. Alert: Stay up to date on Maine's COVID-19 Response, Home → Fish & Wildlife → Wildlife → Species Information → Invertebrates → Rare Freshwater Mussels. 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. And the confidence to order them without worry, read the instructions in this tutorial juveniles, not! Be grilled, steamed, baked or fried relatively better than that of many States continue their mussel growing in... Percent in the Northeast to three days of can you eat freshwater mussels in maine a licence let alone dine on them are starting to in... 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