Returning Oyster Gardeners—Fall Spat Pickup

Click to see the schedule

Current CBF Oyster Gardeners: It's time to come pick up your new set* of baby "spat." You will receive one bag of spat for every two cages. 

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As you know, spat bags can be messy. Bringing a plastic bucket or two to transport them home is a good idea. If you need replacement supplies (wire mesh cages, closure clips, etc.), this is a great time to pick them up.    

*Volunteers understand that all spat-on-shell provided by the Foundation remains the property of CBF and is to be returned at the end of the growing season.

Still need to return your adult oysters? Bring them with you, you can drop them off at the same time you pickup new spat. Instructions for returning oysters. 

2014 Spat Pickup/Drop Off Schedule:


Annapolis 1
(Severn or Magothy River oysters *South or West River oyster returns)

Oct. 6
5:00 p.m.-
7:30 p.m.
Greenbury Point, Mill Creek Boat Ramp

Annapolis 2
(Severn or Magothy River oysters *South or West River oyster returns)
Oct. 8
5:00 p.m.-
8:00 p.m.
CBF's Philip Merrill Environmental Center

(Kent Narrows, Miles, Choptank, and Chester River oysters)
Oct. 11
10:00 a.m.-
1:00 p.m.
CBF's Eastern Shore Office/Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy

Annapolis 3
(Severn or Magothy River oysters *South or West River oyster returns)

Oct. 14
5:00 p.m.-
7:30 p.m.
Jonas Green Park

Solomon's Island 1
(Chesapeake Beach and Patuxent River oysters)
Oct. 18
10:00 a.m.-
1:00 p.m.
Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, Solomon's Island


Please help offset our costs.  We are suggesting that volunteers help us offset the cost of spat-on-shell and materials associated with the project by making a $25 gift to CBF. This gift is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. We will also be set up to collect contributions at all Spat Pickup Days. 

We appreciate your ongoing support, and we hope you will continue in the oyster gardening program. Thank you for all you are doing to help save the Bay.

If you are returning oysters, please remember:

  • Bring your oysters in bushel baskets and/or plastic buckets that you do not need returned to you. This really helps facilitate transplanting them onto the reef. 
  • Count your oysters before you bring them to us, and let us know how many you have. This helps us keep track of how many oysters we plant. You may want to take a sample from your garden (say, estimate 10 percent), count every live oyster in that sample, then use that number to estimate how many oysters you have in your whole garden by multiplying by 10.
  • Oysters can stay out of the water for up to 24 hours before the event, as long as they are not in direct sunlight. (Keep them in a cool, shady place and cover them with damp newspaper). 

Questions? Contact us at

Gardeners: We will be collecting your baby spat in May and June 2015. Come back then for details.


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