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Thread: Fresh Water North American Mollusks

  1. #1

    Default Fresh Water North American Mollusks

    I keep finding these large mollusks (big clam looking things) in the Pearl River here in Mississippi and was wondering if they are safe to eat. I can't find any info at the website (state wildlife law enforcement site) about them either. Does anyone know anything about them?

    The mollusks I find look a lot like the image below. Main question is are they safe to eat? Any protection laws, too. I find huge ones (six inches long) sometimes and they have lots of grayish white meat inside of them. Sort of like oyster flesh in texture.

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    Last edited by Bowcatz; 03-02-2007 at 05:47 PM.
    With Christ, all things are possible.

  2. #2


    Gee, I don't know. They look similar to clams. I would think you could, but I am not the expert.

  3. #3


    Those are called "heel splitters" where we live, according to my husband. He said that you'd probably be able to check with the local fish and game warden, or possibly the county extension agency. Wish I could be more help.

  4. #4


    Here is a link that might help you, not sure. But from what I can see these help to clean the river.

  5. #5


    Thanks for the link. Seems animals can eat them, so they might be safe for human consumption. I would cook one thoroughly though because of a high salmonella probability. I'm still checking into their edibility for humans though till I try one. Because they are declining in numbers, this would strictly be a survival situation before I would eat one. The shells are strong and beautiful when polished and have many uses from buttons to scrapers to oval, rounded boxes when you put a small hinge on the back.
    With Christ, all things are possible.

  6. #6


    I got in contact with a game warden through a forum for Mississippi wildlife and it is illegal to have in your possession a bivalve of any kind. Seems some unscroupulous folk are making the bivalve create fresh water pearls. This action is killing the bivalves and this had made them protected from commercial use. There is a $2000 to $5000 fine for having one in my possession, so I'm not touching them.
    With Christ, all things are possible.

  7. #7


    BTW, if they do help to clean the river like tater03 said, it would probably be wise to avoid eating any bivalves from rivers that may be or may have been polluted as mercury and other toxins tend to concentrate in animals that filter the water. Most of you probably already knew that, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to bring it up anyway.


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