Department of Natural Resources
As a whole native freshwater mussels in Michigan are not doing well. Currently 43% of Michigan's recognized mussel species are listed as threatened or endangered. Additionally, fresh water mussels are notoriously difficult to identify while in the field. A significant factor in the declines over the past 30 years is the introduction and spread of invasive zebra mussels. Therefore the collection of live native mollusks from areas where they persist will be severally limited. Almost all authorized survey work for mussels that is performed in Michigan involves non-lethal collection methods and stream or lake side data collection. This approach leads to quick and efficient release of specimens back to the location they were collected from. Applicants should keep this in mind when designing study plans for working with mussels.
Permits will not be issued to collect and possess live native mussels for the sole purpose of education.
Permits will not be issued to collect and possess shells from dead or live mussels for personal use activities including but not limited to arts and crafts or button making.