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Collecting Permits

Before collecting freshwater mussels in the metro area and the tri-state region, the appropriate wildlife management agencies must be contacted to determine what restrictions exist and if collecting permits must be obtained. For your convenience, several often misunderstood rules are listed below for New York State; other states have rules that are similar.

1. It is illegal to collect living freshwater mussels in New York State without a scientific collector's permit

2. Additional state or federal endangered species permits are required to collect any protected species

3. Never collect freshwater mussels without knowledge of rarity status first

4. Collecting dead shells of endangered species violates the United States Endangered Species Act, and is a federal crime

It is highly recommended that field workers contact the appropriate agencies to obtain written information on the current status and protections for individual species in each state, and on all existing restrictions on collecting. Current contact information for the appropriate state and federal agencies:

Connecticut:
Wildlife Division Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection
79 Elm Street
Hartford, CT 06106
(860)424-3011

New Jersey:
Endangered and Nongame Species Program New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife
P.O. Box 400
Trenton, NJ 08625-0400
(609) 292-9400

New York:
Special License Unit New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-4752
(518)402-8985

Federal (regional office):
Special License Unit New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-4752
(518)402-8985

American Museum of Natural History

Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, NY 10024-5192
Phone: 212-769-5100

Open daily from 10 am - 5:45 pm
except on Thanksgiving and Christmas
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