Archive for January 17th, 2012

Wildlife: Mussels, Look but Don’t Touch

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

This is Passport to Texas

Texas is home to nearly fifty species of freshwater mussels.

07—They have just really fun names—like the Texas Pig Toe, and there’s the Louisiana Fat Mucket…

Texas Mussel Watch coordinator, Marsha May, says wherever there’s freshwater, you’re likely to find mussels.

08—The live in freshwater streams, lakes, ponds and even tanks. So you can find them pretty much anywhere in freshwater in Texas.

The only place you’ll have a hard time finding mussels is in deep east Texas where the water is too acidic for the mollusk to survive.

06—They prefer more alkaline water. They need to have that calcium in the water to help them build their shells.

Speaking of those shells…if come upon one with or without its occupant…Marsha May says leave it where you find it.

20—Freshwater mussels are protected. In order to handle the shells or live animals, you have to have some sort of license or permit. Either a fishing license, which you can handle any mussel greater than two and a half inches long for most species, and then, my Mussel Watch volunteers have a scientific permit so they can handle all species.

Learn about Mussel Watch tomorrow.

That’s our show with support from the Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program…funded by your purchase of fishing and hunting equipment and motor boat fuel…For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m
Cecilia Nasti.