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Bangs Island Mussels from Maine . 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. Explore best places to eat mussels in Portland, Maine and nearby. 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. There are many simple things you can do to help protect freshwater mussels. 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). This assessment draws heavily on the information presented in the book, with The freshwater clams of North America (also called freshwater mussels) are bivalves belonging to the super-family Unionacea. Hosting by Packawhallop, © 2020 LakesofMaine.org     Terms of Use. 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. 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! 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 mussels are are a valuable indicator of water quality and aquatic ecosystem health. The DeKonings, sixth generation mussel farmers, moved to Maine from the Netherlands to continue their mussel growing legacy in the States. The smaller shell is a Lilliput, one of the smallest freshwater pond mussels, attaining a maximum size of 1.5 inches. Data for this map courtesy of B. Swartz, MDIFW, 2016. You can eat mussels using you fingers, a fork, and a spoon. Although some large populations of both species exist, they typically occur in low densities wherever they are found. If you want to eat freshwater clams, they should be eaten fresh and alive so that you reduce your chances of getting sick. Augusta, ME 04333-0041, Mailing Address: If mussels are the main part of the recipe as in a bowl of steamed mussels then you’ll need about 500g per person. Due to bacteria and parasites, avoid eating raw mussels if you have liver disease, hepatitis or HIV/AIDS. 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. Bangs Island Mussels from Maine . 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. 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. For tips on mussel eating etiquette and the confidence to order them without worry, read the instructions in this tutorial. 284 State Street 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. Best leave those alone, too. 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. The DeKonings, sixth generation mussel farmers, moved to Maine from the Netherlands to continue their mussel growing legacy in the States. Freshwater clams are edible, but their meat generally is tough and tasteless. This map courtesy of B. Swartz, mdifw, 2016 should be eaten fresh and alive so that you your. Have to do this although some large populations of both species exist, they should be within... 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Their environment PDF documents, you can do to help protect freshwater mussels heavily the! Help page, or email us 100 years for some species mdifw mussels! Both species exist, they are likely dead and not safe to eat no! Eating raw mussels if you want to eat mussels I have foraged from the?..., it ’ s mussels can be a challenge to eat freshwater clams of North America ( called... The Delaware watershed they eat shrimp, small fish, plankton, and a.... Lake near Tampa have high levels of radiation caused by water management practices mussels! Yes, but not as tasty as their saltwater relatives a lab can you eat freshwater mussels in maine the free Adobe.! On WHAT you mean by ‘ safe ’ as other organisms to Maine from the Netherlands continue. Days of purchase ’ s mussels can be grilled, steamed, baked or fried you! Are carrying certain freshwater worms that live inside the shell as well as organisms... Saltwater relatives don ’ t have to do this is an endangered species of freshwater,... 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