Thursday, June 17, 2010

Galveston Bay Oyster Reef Restoration

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Coastal Fisheries Division and commercial oyster fishermen are working together to restore about 2,000 acres of oyster reefs damaged by Hurricane Ike. About 8,000 acres of the bays reefs were smothered by sediment deposits when Hurricane Ike made landfall in September 2008.

About 180 fishermen have signed on to assist in restoration efforts taking place during the next couple of months.  Fishermen are being hired to use their boats and fishing gear to pull dead shell out of the sediment, thereby providing a surface for oyster larvae to attach and grow.

Re-exposing the buried shell will provide the hard substrate oyster larvae require.  It will take 18 to 24 months for newly settled oysters to reach a legal size of three inches.

Funding for this project comes from a federal fisheries disaster grant to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department through the National Marine Fisheries Service.

source: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

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