Photo by Linda HeronPhoto Credit

We need your help! The Study of Mussels

Aleta Karstad

Aleta Karstad

Dr Fredrick Schueler is a dedicated scientist, the longest-serving research associate of the Canadian Museum of Nature, and member of ORA.

One of Fred’s specialties is the study of mussels – so he has collected shells from all across Ontario. This year he and his wife Aleta Karatad (who painted threatened waterfalls for the ORA’s 2013 ‘Precious Wild Rivers’ calendar) will be traversing the Energy East Pipeline corridor across Ontario, and from New Brunswick to Alberta. Fred will sample mussels and other fauna & flora where streams cross the proposed pipeline route, while Aleta paints the scenes –

Fred is particularly interested in mussels found in the former outlet of the Upper Great Lakes, the Mattawa/Nippising/French system. He’s already added three species to those known from this area, and hopes to do more fieldwork there in 2015. Fred has requested that anyone with boats or cottages to send him bags full of empty clam shells.

Here is what Fred needs:

  1. A common plastic grocery bag of empty clam shells, selected for the diversity of their shapes and colours (you can get an idea of the diversity of species from his identification guide at
  2. Name of body of the water body and Longitude and Latitude of the location where they came from (from GPS or google maps [right-click and select ‘what’s here’])
  3. Dry the shells, parcel them up carefully so the shells are protected, and mail them to Frederick Scheuler, 6 St Lawrence St, Bishops Mills, RR#2, Oxford Station, ON K0G 1T0

Fred will give you a very comprehensive report of what kind of mussels are living in your favourite lake or river – very exciting stuff!  Also, if you have information of concerns about pipelines’ effects on rivers, Fred or Aleta would be interested in discussing this.


Frederick W. Schueler & Aleta Karstad Daily Paintings –
Vulnerable Watersheds –

RR#2 Bishops Mills, Ontario, Canada K0G 1T0
on the Smiths Falls Limestone Plain 44* 52’N 75* 42’W