Texas Mussel Watch

Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program

Most of us only know mussels—bivalve mollusks—from the grocery store seafood counter. What you may not know is Texas hosts more than fifty species of native freshwater mussels.

They can vary in shapes and sizes. Some of them are very small to, say, an inch or two. And some of them can be very large—nine or ten inches. And they can live anywhere from ten years to a hundred years, depending on the species.

Marsha May oversees the Texas Mussel Watch Program, a citizen science project that enlists people to monitor freshwater mussels, one of the most imperiled groups of organisms in the US.

They are very sensitive to changes in their environment, and many species of freshwater mussels can’t handle that change. We’re finding shells in those situations where the animals have died off.

Mussel Watch participants play a vital role in helping researchers understand these organisms. If you want to become a citizen scientist, you must attend a workshop.

We have a few workshops scheduled for the spring. One will be in Tyler, we’ll have another one in San Antonio, and we’ll have another one in Bastrop. And if folks are interested, they can go to our website to find out when these workshops occur.

Find links to Mussel Watch Workshops at passporttotexas.org.

That’s our show… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

April 12, 2008 — Old Sabine Bottom WMA — Texas Mussel Watch Train the Trainer Workshop — This workshop is sponsored by the East Texas Master Naturalist Chapter. SBEC and TEEAC credit available for teachers. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; fee $10, includes materials; preregistration required. To register and for more information, contact Irene Hamel at Irene.hamel@tpwd.state.tx.us or (903) 566-9394. (903) 566-1626.

Comments are closed.