Dark False Mussels Are Everywhere On Severn River!

Published: October 24, 2018

First, we found them, the dark false mussels, when the Boy Scouts helped round up year-old oysters during our annual oyster reef restoration event in early June.

Pulling up those oyster cages came with the crackly sound of mussels growing on every nook and cranny of a cage, even all along the lines holding the cages to the piers.

The proliferation of these mussels is really obvious during super low-tide events. Virtually everything under the low-tide levels is encrusted with the critters — rocks, tree branches, drift wood, oyster cages, pilings, boat props, boat bottoms.

Patrick McMahon, who runs Diver For Hire, reports doing battle with these mussels all season long. He says they’re much more prolific than the usual bane of barnacles. Yes, they do seem to help with clarity, but when it comes to boat bottoms and props, they are a challenge. Each job takes much longer due to the proliferation of dark false mussels this year.

And, we’re finding them encrusted on beer and soda cans that wash ashore. 

So therein lies the conundrum

Do you pull the trash out of the river and kill the mussels, or leave the mussels-on-the-can in the river so they can filter the water? What do you do???

It’s like visiting National Parks,where you’re not supposed to feed the wildlife. But what do you do when a mosquito lands on you for a snack? You can’t feed it of course, that’s against the rules, but you’re not supposed to kill the wildlife (without a hunting license).

Hmm .. what do you do?