young oysters proliferate in Harris Creek, 2013
We’ve been noticing a lot of young oysters along the edges of Harris Creek. Most of them are about an inch long, and they’ve struck on rocks, old shell, pieces of trash and old bricks.
A super low tide last week gave us a good reason to walk the shoreline, and take a closer look at some of these new oysters. We’ve walked several portions of Harris Creek – on both the west and east sides, even far south near Tilghman Island. Young oysters are evident everywhere.
You might recall that in 2010, the state re-claimed all of Harris Creek as oyster sanctuary – and since then, have planted millions of young oysters as well as acres of shell for substrate for the young oysters to strike and grow upon. Here’s a link to some of that information.
You might also recall that in both 2010, and in 2011, the state reported record spatfalls – the rate at which young oysters “strike” – reproduce naturally, unlike the state seeding programs, in which spat-on-shell is “planted” on Bay bottom. We can assume that these young oysters are part of that natural spat set from recent years.
There are plenty of larger oysters too, harvest size. Of course Harris Creek is all sanctuary these days, so nobody will be harvesting these oysters. We admired a few, and tossed them back.
This is a very good sign for water quality in Harris Creek.