VA's Oyster Restoration Season Starts Strong

Since the larvae's first dip into Gloucester's tanks on May 7th, these youngsters have been quite busy! After three days of swimming around in heated tanks in order to induce setting, the larvae were able to set (or attach to) two substrates- reef balls and shell. Under a microscope, we were able to confirm a healthy spat set.

2For the next week and a half, the VA Oyster Team (Tommy Leggett, Jackie Shannon, and Tracy Weidert) monitored the temperature and salinity of the water in the tank, which gave the "�spat' time to securely attach themselves to their permanent homes: reef balls or shell.

To measure the number of larvae that successfully set on shell, VA Oyster Volunteers counted the number of spat on shell using a predetermined sample size of shells from each tank and a square grid to determine the sample surface area on reef balls.

Finally, on May 21st, the once free-swimming larvae, now three week old "�spat' (set on reef balls and shell), were deployed in their  final destination in the Piankatank River at Palace's Bar Reef.

4

(The crew of the Chesapeake Gold lower a reef ball into the Piankatank River.
Courtesy of VA Oyster Team.)

5The Virginia Oyster Team also recently acquired a new land-based upweller. This system uses individual cylinders or boxes, called silos, to harbor the oyster seeds while they are growing. The silos are set in a large tank, with a  pipe running along the tops of the silos, and the bottom of the silo is covered by mesh. Water is pumped into the tank, moving up through the mesh and exiting out of the pipes. The cycling estuary water provides the oyster seeds with nutrients and plankton to feed on, and the constant flow of water pushes waste to the surface.

Upweller-blog photo

The new upweller system is operational just in time for the 2012 oyster restoration season. After working out a few kinks, the system is running smoothly with 200,000 cultchless oyster seeds growing rapidly. The Virginia Oyster Team sieved the seed to separate the oysters by size, and then placed them back into the upweller. Everyday the seed needs to be stirred, as the oysters are constantly feeding and producing waste. The oysters, once they have grown, will be used for Virginia's demonstration oyster farm and given to volunteers in their oyster gardening cages.

6

(First photo: Close-up shot of spat on a low pro reef ball. Courtesy of VA Oyster Team. Third photo: A volunteer holding cultchless oysters growing in the upweller system. Courtesy of VA Oyster Team. Fourth Photo: CBF's Dan Johannes standing next to the new upweller. Photo by Meghan Hoffman/CBF. Fifth Photo: Members of the VA Oyster Team sort out oyster seeds from the upweller system. Courtesy of VA Oyster Team.)

Meghan Hoffman

Issues in this Post

Eastern Oysters   Restore  

   Please leave this field empty
Stay up to date about the Bay!




DISCLAIMER

PLEASE READ OUR TERMS OF USE

The views and opinions expressed in the media, articles or comments on this site are those of the speakers or authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions held by CBF and the inclusion of such information does not imply endorsement by CBF. CBF is not responsible for the contents of any linked Web, or any link contained in a linked Web site, or any changes or updates to such Web sites. The inclusion of any link or comment is provided only for information purposes. CBF reserves the right to edit or remove any comments and material posted to this website and to ban users from the site without notice. Partisan, pornographic or other inappropriate content, product or service promotion, foul language or bad behavior is expressly forbidden and will be removed.


Share Your Clean Water Story

What does the Bay, its rivers and streams mean to you? What impact have the Bay and its local waters had on your life? We'd like to know.

Share Your Story

Save the Bay

Founded in 1967, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is the largest independent conservation organization dedicated solely to saving the Bay.

Save the Bay