Mussel beds

Discussion in 'NORTH CAROLINA RIVERS TALK' started by bigcatwannabe, Apr 4, 2006.

  1. bigcatwannabe

    bigcatwannabe New Member

    Messages:
    166
    State:
    rowland, nc
    just wondering if anyone has some good tips on finding mussel beds pretty easily
     
  2. Jamey

    Jamey New Member

    Messages:
    138
    State:
    Pegram, Tennessee
    I know there are (or used to be) a lot of commercial mussel divers on Ky. Lake. When I was a kid, there was always a lot of tension between the divers and the commercial catfishermen. Basically, the divers would get snagged in the fishermen's trot lines, they would then cut the lines, then the fishermen would slash the divers' boat trailer tires at the ramp, etc, etc, etc....

    If I was clinically insane and really wanted to locate some mussel beds, I would look for old battered jon boats with diver-down flags.

    Considering the hazzards at the bottom of the lake and the drunken jetskiiers/pleasure boaters topside, you couldn't get this diver down there with a gun. Be careful out there!
     

  3. NCCatter

    NCCatter Member

    Messages:
    462
    State:
    North Carolina
    I have heard to look for sandy ledges against the bank, but any other land feature to look for I don't know. What about the depth of mussel beds. Anyone know how deep they normally are?
     
  4. ShilohRed

    ShilohRed New Member

    Messages:
    4,339
    State:
    West Tn
    Here on the Tn River and the Pickwick lake. There on about Every place that has sand and pea gravel.
    Also mussel beds do go down a few feet in the sand .
    Best way to find them is fish. I always catch small mussels on my hooks. And theres a lot of people that hang up and drag some of the big ones in.
    Also in hot weather and the water is hot look for the meat floating. As some will die and the meat will float. That is if the fish don't eat it first.

    Also if you catch blues and clean them. And they have a lot of small shells in them. You can bet there in that place to feed on the beds.

    Pete
     
  5. NCCatter

    NCCatter Member

    Messages:
    462
    State:
    North Carolina
    thanks for the advice.
    I have caught alot of blues on jugs in the summer that are full of mussels but they are in open water with no sandy shore nearby which makes it hard to narrow it down. But at least we have a starting point. Thanks alot!!
     
  6. Ric

    Ric New Member

    Messages:
    3
    State:
    Smithfield NC
    North Carolina is home to more than 60 species of freshwater mussels. Unfortunately, 50% of these species are designated Endangered, Threatened, or Special Concern within the state.... more info here
    http://www.wildlife.state.nc.us/pg07_WildlifeSpeciesCon/pg7b1a.htm

    Most freshwater mussels live burrowed in sand and gravel at the bottom of rivers and streams. Only a few are adapted to the quiet water and muddy depths of lakes, ponds, and reservoirs.

    Typical habitat for mussels includes running waters of all sizes, from small brooks to large rivers. Bottom substrates include silt, sand and gravel, which may be distributed in relatively small patches behind larger cobbles and boulders. The river velocity is usually slow to moderate.

    I have also found a lot of mussels in the NE Cape Fear on the slow water side of river. They were somewhat 1/2 way buried into the sand. I haven't went looking in a few years.
     
  7. bigcatwannabe

    bigcatwannabe New Member

    Messages:
    166
    State:
    rowland, nc
    so in other words, we need to look for soft smooth bottoms on our fish finders and fish and if we catch fish, we may have a hot mussel bed
     
  8. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    How many of you live in areas where the zebra mussell has taken hold? I'm sure that most of us have heard the evils of zebra mussells, and I'm certainly not going to defend them; but, when you're given lemons, make lemonade. Catfish absolutely love those evil critters. Particularly in the spring, I'll catch catfish (usually blues) with their bellies plumb stuffed with zebra mussells, and their, uh, their, well, their rearwardmost oriface extremely red, swollen, and occasionally even bleeding. (Just the thought of trying to pass those sharp edged shells gives me the willies!) This seems to happen most along the riprap the Corps of Engineers has put on the riverbank, judging from catfish on my jugs and the occasional zebra mussell we find attached to the line or hook.