Successful Mussel Identification Workshop

Contributed by Eileen Randall and Jim Daly, Posted 9/20/22: The New York Chapter hosted a New York mussel identification workshop at the DEC Region 8 headquarters in Avon, NY on August 29 and 30. Twenty-four individuals turned out for the workshop led by Amy Mahar (DEC), Jenny Landry (DEC), Kurt Jirka (Cornell), and Eileen Randall (Cornell). The attendees represented various state and federal agencies as well as the private sector.

Field component of the mussel ID workshop

Classroom component of the mussel ID workshop

The two-day workshop included both classroom and field portions where attendees were introduced to over 40 mussel species found within the state. After a quick introduction into the mussel world, the group headed out to a nearby stream to observe mussels in their natural habitat. Shells and live mussels of eight species were observed, including a plain pocketbook (Lampsilis cardium) displaying its mantle lure to attract a fish host (see underwater video at The second day focused on an in-depth review of New York mussels and their key characteristics to help with identification. In the end, attendees gained a better understanding of the variety of mussels found in New York and an appreciation for their diverse features and life history strategies. Thank you to all who attended, the instructors, and the New York Chapter for supporting this event.