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Mussels

Ouchley
K. Ouchley
/

Freshwater mussels are a little known but critical component of the biodiversity of Louisiana bayous, streams, and rivers. Related to the much sought after oysters of the coastal area, freshwater mussels in Louisiana are not usually consumed by people today. Such was not always the case, however, as Native Americans routinely harvested large amounts of this high protein food. Piles of discarded shells or middens still mark the campsites of pre-historic peoples across the state.

 

Kelby was a biologist and manager of National Wildlife Refuges for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for more than 30 years. He has worked with alligators in gulf coast marshes and Canada geese on Hudson Bay tundra. His most recent project was working with his brother Keith of the Louisiana Nature Conservancy on the largest floodplain restoration project in the Mississippi River Basin at the Mollicy Unit of the Upper Ouachita National Wildlife Refuge, reconnecting twenty-five square miles of former floodplain forest back to the Ouachita River.
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