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Forums >> Let's Talk Texas Outdoors >> Back at Camp >> Freshwater Mussels?

Freshwater Mussels?

KMC

KMC writes about Freshwater Mussels?
Points: Y (0) / M (0)

Hey all,
I am a student studying American freshwater mussels. I live in Massachusetts where unfortunately there are not that many mussels to find. I am looking for people who come across the little (sometime not so little) buggers when outdoors. I would love anyone who finds the muskrat middens on the side of the rivers/lakes (or how ever they come across the mussels) to box up a bunch of paired fellas big and small and send them my way. I am only looking for dead/spent shells, not live ones. I collect and study and write about all the different species. I'm not concered about big or small, the more different ones the better. Anyone who would be able to help me with my studies by just picking up a bunch of the ones you find while fishing would be a HUGE help in my studies. I would certainly compensate you for your effort and of course pay for shipping too. The only requirements would be that you provide matching paired (not single) valves and that they are not totally broken (they don't have to be absolutely perfect with no chips at all, but the cleaner with their natural "skin" the better). I've been trying to make contacts with people across the country that naturally run into mussels while out fishing or hiking that might be able to just pick up shells they come across without it being a big hassle for them. I can't thank enough anyone who would consider assisting me with this project. You can contact me through this site or directly at
kczaja@fas.harvard.edu. Thank You!!!!!
-Kevin

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RE: Freshwater Mussels?

postalpaul25
postalpaul25
postalpaul25 writes about postalpaul25 writes about
Points: Y (0) / M (0)

Kevin, may I suggest you post some pictures of exactly what you want(paired mussels) and maybe some will recognize and be able to help. Thanks Paul

RE: Freshwater Mussels?

KMC

KMC writes about
Points: Y (0) / M (0)

Hi Paul,

    thanks for the reply.  I'm pretty sure that zebra mussels have spared Texas so far.  So really theres only one freshwater bivalve species in Texas larger than an inch that isn't a native freshwater mussel.  This is the Asian Clam.  So basically any freshwater mussel you find that is an inch or bigger and isn't the Asian Clam, is something I'm interested in.  There are many species in Texas big and small.  All would be new and interesting to me.  I've posted below some example pics (including the Asian Clam, the one I don't want).  Also, if interested, the following is a link on some of the freshwater mussels from the Dallas area (it also shows the Asian Clam as the last pic). 

http://www.outdoorplace.org/shells/local_shells.html

Any help you could provide with my studies would be hugely appreciated!

-Thanks so much, Kevin

 

 

And the one I don't want (asian clam):

 

 

 

RE: Freshwater Mussels?

pumphouse

pumphouse writes about
Points: Y (0) / M (0)

Kevin,

The pics that your posted will be incredibly helpful to those of us who would like to help you out.  Please forgive my ignorance, but I have no idea what a "matching paired (not single) valves"  If you relieve my idiotness I will try and help you out next time I am fishing/hunting/near water.

RE: Freshwater Mussels?

KMC

KMC writes about
Points: Y (0) / M (0)

Hi Stanton,

    thanks so much for the reply and the offer to help!  No forgiving necessary.  I was actually wondering if I should explain that a bit better.  Unlike a snail, for bivavle mollusks (mussels and clams), each specimen has two halves.  These two shells fit together to contain the mollusk inside.  When they die, the two shells are left, but if the ligament that holds the two halves together breaks, they will be seperated as single shells.  I need to have specimens that still have both matching halves.  Its not important that they still be attached by the ligament, just that I have both matching halves.  Any help you can provide will be hugely appreciated!

-Thanks so much, Kevin

RE: Freshwater Mussels?

KMC

KMC writes about
Points: Y (0) / M (0)

Hi Stanton,

    just thought I'd check in since its been a while.  Did you ever get a chance to track down any mussel shells in your hunting and fishing efforts?  I would still be very interested in anything you might find.

-Take care, Kevin

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