On Sunday when I checked my oysters, there was a fair amount of growth or “fouling” on my cages. There was also a fairly significant amount of silt and sediment on the oysters themselves.
Here’s what you should do for maintenance this week:
- Actively dunk your cages up and down in the water to remove the silt and sediment from the oyster shells and spat so that they don’t smother and die.
- Give your cages a quick shake to keep the oysters from growing together.
- Leave the cages on the dock for about an hour so that any growth that has occurred on the cages will dry out and die. This week, rest your cages on their sides so that anything that has grown on the bottom of the cages will dry out and die as well.
- Please set a timer so that you don’t forget to put your oysters back in the water.
- Make sure that the oysters are evenly distributed on the bottom of the cage and put them back in the water.
AVOID using your hose or power washer to clean the cages. The pressure from either can kill the spat.
Please make sure that your cages NEVER rest on the creek or river bottom. If they do, the oysters can rapidly become covered with mud and they will quickly smother and die.
If you have not already done so, please adjust your cages so that the top of the cage is about six inches below the surface of the water at mean low tide.
That’s it for this week. Please call Julie at 410-822-9143 if you have any problems with the maintenance of your cages. Talk to you next week!
Scott W. Eglseder, Founder
The Chesapeake Bay Oyster Reef Recovery Initiative