Mussel question

RUGER

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I have often wondered this and it came up again this past Saturday morning.
We were sitting on the bank and Man picked up an open mussel shell and threw it at me.

I see them on the banks of ponds and small lakes I fish all the time.
My question is, what in the world is opening these things?
I have found live ones before and they are dang near impossible to open without some serious tools.
Is an animal getting these and opening them to get to the mussel ?

If so, HOW?
 

RUGER

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How do they get them open without busting the shell?
 

Pilchard

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This is a total guess but perhaps these have died and washed up on the bank? Perhaps they died during low water? or from poor water quality? I really don't know but have wondered the same thing... It seems if I can't pry one open with my fingers that a coon or otter couldn't either without breaking the shell.
 

dogmatik

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I watch birds opening and eating them all the time. Mainly Limpkins, and they also eat snails. We find tons of them in our yard almost daily.
 

RUGER

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This is a total guess but perhaps these have died and washed up on the bank? Perhaps they died during low water? or from poor water quality? I really don't know but have wondered the same thing... It seems if I can't pry one open with my fingers that a coon or otter couldn't either without breaking the shell.
That was my first thought as well.
 

WTM

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i didnt stay in a holiday inn express last night, but spent a small portion of my youth diving for lake and river shells and running a brail boat for the matlock family. i made enough to pay for my education at UT.

the answer to your question is death. mussels are a great indicator of water quality and enviromental factors. they are kind of fragile.

there is an easy way to open them. run a knife close to the hinge and cut the hinge muscle. an even easier way is to boil them and run them thru a shaker to sling the meat out and size them. lol, stinks like old gym sicks.
 

dogmatik

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I will try to get a pic or video.
On a different note, I did watch a small gator turn his head sideways and pick up snails to eat. It sounds just like you would imagine!!
 

RUGER

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i didnt stay in a holiday inn express last night, but spent a small portion of my youth diving for lake and river shells and running a brail boat for the matlock family. i made enough to pay for my education at UT.

the answer to your question is death. mussels are a great indicator of water quality and enviromental factors. they are kind of fragile.

there is an easy way to open them. run a knife close to the hinge and cut the hinge muscle. an even easier way is to boil them and run them thru a shaker to sling the meat out and size them. lol, stinks like old gym sicks.
I used to work with a guy that mussel dove for years.
Don't guess anyone does that anymore?
 

WTM

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I used to work with a guy that mussel dove for years.
Don't guess anyone does that anymore?
the business was pretty much dead or dying around '94. the japanese oyster beds were starting to die out and the button industry went to plastics. add in over harvesting and it became more trouble than it was worth. around '84 my cousin and i were getting $2.50/pound for lake shells and 60 cents/pound for river shells. we would pull $360 for about 4 hours work. not bad for a couple of river rat teenagers.
 

Dbllunger

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Back in the 10th grade a buddy and I waded into a pond and picked up about 50 of those rascals and took them home to try and cook and eat them. That didn't turn out too well as I remember. Those things were nasty!🥵
 

CATCHDAWG

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Back in the 10th grade a buddy and I waded into a pond and picked up about 50 of those rascals and took them home to try and cook and eat them. That didn't turn out too well as I remember. Those things were nasty!🥵
As you remember!? Yours must have turned out WAY better than what me and my buddy cooked! I remember it vividly! 🤮
 

Smo

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I have seen them die and the meat float up below Wilson Dam during the hot summer months.. I was told it was due too the lack of oxygen in the water.. idk

1991 was a boom year for me in the mussel business. I bought and paid for a 16’ Allweld flat bottom with a 30 hp outboard , plus paid my bills while I was out of work…

I got called back too work around the 1st of October and the last 4 ( clean) shells I sold bought $108 …. @ $5 a pound

But those big lake boards were getting hard too come bye by that time and I was glad too get out of the water and back to work..

It was starting too get chilly! 👀
 

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