East Hampton Shellfish Hatchery- It’s Oyster Growing Season!

On Sunday, May 5th, new and returning “oyster farmers” who joined The East Hampton Shellfish Hatchery’s program to grow oysters and attend classes to learn about our local shellfish- scallops, clams, and oysters, had their first of the season’s maintenance and set-up.

Trustee David Cataletto and former Trustee Susan McGraw-Keber, and new team “farmers” Gordian Raake and Roger Skelton, met with Chris Gray of the hatchery to switch their oysters, which spent the winter submerged in a large cage, to new clean floating bags, which will make it much easier to care for the oysters in the months ahead. At the end of the season, half of the oysters are given back to the town to distribute in the waters for the local fisheries – the remaining oysters belong to the oyster farmers!

The traditional cages that provide for four bags of oysters from seedlings to larger to ready-to-harvest are being replaced by floating bags that attach to a line – the new system is far easier as the cage is heavy.

New oyster farmers Gordian Raacke and Roger Skelton in Napeague Harbor

In a few weeks there will be a distribution of new oyster seedlings to add to the waters. Oysters require water flow to survive and grow.  Routine maintenance of of equipment helps to prevent and control fouling, which will allow the oysters to grow quicker. Scheduled maintenance is approximately every three weeks. As the summer weather grows warmer, more frequent cleaning of the bags and oysters will help to keep the mesh open and free of fouling organisms.

DYK? Oysters can filter up to 50 gallons of water a day, which is a great benefit to our harbor’s waters!

From 2022, click on the tab to learn more about The East Hampton Shellfish Hatchery and how you too can participate and become an “oyster farmer”!

For more information about oysters click on the tab from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) U.S. Department of Commerce.

Website by Michael Hansen