On Thursday, May 28th volunteers assembled at the office of Eglseder Wealth Management Group, Inc. to have some light breakfast and get instructions about how to gather the oysters. As we did last year, instead of picking up the cages, the oysters were placed into five gallon buckets, which were then transported to Chris Judy with the Department of Natural Resources to be planted on the state-sponsored reefs.
From the 565 cages, our growers were able to successfully grow about 200,000 oysters. Here are some notes from Chris Judy about the growth stats and where the oysters will be planted:
Planting Site:ORRI’s prior plantings were at Orem bar (at channel marker 11). DNR shifted to Maxmore because Orem was well stocked after two years of plantings and Maxmore needed a boost. It was planted by DNR in 2011. It’s good to have various year classes on a bar to provide diverse ages and sizes of oysters, so ORRI’s oysters are now enhancing a second site in the river.
Notes:The cage oysters showed good growth and were often in robust clumps. They will enhance Maxmore.The average count was 5.9 oysters per shell. Though the range was 0 oysters up to 25.Unfortunately numerous cages had winter- kill, due to exposure to frigid air temps mid winter. Some cages had only a few live oysters but over 100 dead ones. Winter-kill kept the planting numbers from being higher.Very few flatworms were seen. That’s good news. These worms prey on spat and can kill hundreds, even thousands.
So, some winter-kill due to the terrible ice we had this winter, but generally good growth, and low flatworm damage. Overall, a good report! We want to extend a HUGE THANK YOU to our volunteers who tirelessly helped us round up these oysters. We are so grateful for your positive attitudes and helpfulness. It truly feels like a gathering of old friends when we get to work together! Here’s to this special group: