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State fields calls about mussels killed by cold snap

Courtesy: University of Maine

Since the cold snap in early February, the Maine Department of Marine Resources has been getting reports of dead mussels along the coast from southern Maine to Frenchman Bay.

Spokesperson Jeff Nichols says DMR's Public Health Bureau has been investigating, and believes the mussels were killed by the extremely cold temperatures.

Nichols says it's not unexpected, because mussels in the intertidal zone are susceptible to extreme temperatures, unlike mussels in the subtidal zone, or soft-shell clams which are insulated by the mud. He says there is no concern about population-level impacts, but the department will be monitoring the situation.

Murray Carpenter is Maine Public’s climate reporter, covering climate change and other environmental news.