Blog

2017 Oyster Pick-ups

Last week marked the end of the 2017 oyster gardening season. All oysters were picked up and given to the DMR to be planted on restoration reefs. The inaugural Mississippi Oyster Gardening season had it’s challenges, from fresh water killing the original spat to Hurricane Nate taking out piers, but in the end over  15,000 oysters were grown! All oysters that were collected were very healthy and at a few sites there was even natural set spat from wild oysters. These were very encouraging signs that the Mississippi Oyster Gardening Program is on the right track. Now that we are between seasons, it’s time to focus on expanding the program for 2018 to include as many oyster gardeners as possible. If you know of anyone who may be interested in participating, please have them contact us!

Wrapping up the 2017 Oyster Gardening Season

There is only one month left in the 2017 Mississippi oyster gardening season. That means it’s time to look ahead to oyster pick-ups and the 2018 oyster gardening season. All gardeners should be on the lookout for emails regarding oyster pick-ups, which should take place the last week in November.

It’s hard to believe, but it’s already time to start thinking about next season. We are currently in the midst of a major recruiting push, and would love any ideas for potential speaking venues. Our program coordinator gave an informational talk this past weekend at the Pascagoula River Audubon Center, and any similar opportunities would be welcome. As always, please spread the message of oyster gardening to your friends and neighbors, we are always looking for more gardeners and to expand the knowledge of the program!

 

2016 Final Collections – Ocean Springs High School

The 2016 Oyster Gardening pilot program has officially ended! Final oyster counts, measurements, and collections occurred May 26th, 2017 in Ocean Springs, MS. The pilot site, coordinated through Ocean Springs High School, produced approximately 2,000 oysters with an average size of 56 mm (2.2 inches). All oysters were collected on site by the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources and planted on restoration reefs.  

 

2017 Gardening Season Prep.

Shell Bagging with Alma Bryant

On May 1, 2017 students from Alma Bryant High School traveled to the Auburn University Shellfish Lab to bag shell for the Mississippi Oyster Gardening Program. Students processed baskets of seasoned shell into condensed bags, each containing 100 shells. This process included rinsing and sorting shells, counting shells, and finally bagging and securing shells for future use. Thanks to the help of these students we were able to prepare enough bag shell for the entire program and store them onsite for spawning.

We would like to thank the Alabama Oyster Shell Recycling Program for providing us with seasoned shell for the 2017 gardening season!