Certain species of freshwater mussels may be collected for personal use (see illustrations below). Seven Florida mussel species that occur from the Suwannee River system north and west throughout the panhandle are federally protected. Possessing or disturbing these protected species can result in substantial penalties. Distinguishing between protected and unprotected species is often difficult. Contact a local FWC office if you have questions concerning mussel identification. The daily bag limit for unprotected mussels is 10 per person (or 20 half shells). The possession limit is two days bag limit.

Florida Shiny Spike, 3" minimum sizePaper pondshell, minimum size 3.5 inches

Unprotected mussels shall be taken by hand-picking only. Use of brailles, crowfoot bars or other mechanical methods for taking freshwater mussels is prohibited. Freshwater mussels, live or dead, may not be taken for sale. Species of freshwater mussels from other families, such as the Asian clam, have no daily bag or possession limits.

Asian Clam

FWC Facts:
Florida has 3 million acres of freshwater lakes and 12,000 miles of streams and rivers - home to more than 250 different species of freshwater fish.

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