Mathiak Collection of Freshwater Mussels of Wisconsin

The Milwaukee Public Museum Mollusk Collection contains specimens from freshwater, terrestrial, and marine habitats around the world.

The most significant holdings are from Wisconsin, a major portion of these being freshwater mussels collected and donated by Harold A. Mathiak.

Harold A. Mathiak surveyed 251 rivers and creeks across Wisconsin for the presence of freshwater mussels during the summers of 1973 through 1977 and published the results of the 641-site survey in his 1979 book, now out of print. Voucher specimens (7,000+) with the pertinent date, stream, county, and township/range/section data were donated to six institutions, including the Milwaukee Public Museum.

Offering a synoptic overview of the mussel fauna in the state three decades ago, the Mathiak Collection can be a good source of material for addressing various research questions.

This website offers a searchable, composite database of this collection, in the hopes that it can be a valuable resource to interested researchers.

This website is an information resource based on Mathiak's collections and research. Images and data are from his book A River Survey of the Unionid Mussels of Wisconsin 1973-1977, provided through the generous permission of Jean Walker and Lucy Mathiak, daughters of the author.

Species names have been updated to conform to the list compiled by the Council of Systematic Malacologists and published in 1998 by the American Fisheries Society.

This site was initiated in 2004 with a grant from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.