Re: NANFA-- Mussels

Bruce Stallsmith (
Mon, 02 Sep 2002 15:01:49 -0400

>I know nothing about mussels but I do have a couple of very neophyte
>questions. 1. Does opening the shell kill the mussel? If so...
>2. Is there a "treatment" that will relax the animal that will allow
>opening of the shell without trauma?
If you force open the valves, you're certain to at least injure if not kill
the animal. They have a series of column-like muscles that are anchored to
each valve, usually reinforced by tooth-like structures in the hinge holding
the valves together that give mechanical strength to muscular exertion.
Sometimes it's the only way to convincingly ID an animal. But as with
fishes, the taking of mussels is closely regulated in most states so beware!
Many species are still common and have commerical uses, while others are
federally or state listed because of diminished populations. Many wildlife
law enforcement officials are even less tolerant of the taking of threatened
mussels than they are of fishes, so...

--Bruce Stallsmith
Huntsville, AL, US of A
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