Mollusks Are Vital Link in Nature's Chain of Life
by Tom Palmer
The scientific study of mollusks is called malacology.
The latest research I found identified 113 species and subspecies of freshwater mollusks in Florida.
To put that in some perspective, there are 53 species of amphibians and 89 species of reptiles, some of which share the mollusks' freshwater habitat.
Like other groups of organisms in Florida, some of the freshwater mollusks are protected by law. The list includes 13 species, most of them found only in the Panhandle.
You can harvest the rest of them for personal use as long as you have a valid Florida fishing license. Commercial harvesting of freshwater mollusks is prohibited in the state.
The only caution is that mollusks are filter feeders, so you might consider the quality of the water from which you're harvesting mollusks when you consider whether you want to eat them.
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