Oyster Gardening—Spring Spat Return

Spat Return: We Want Your Oysters! Click to register

Oyster gardeners—it's time to return your oysters to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation so we can plant them on sanctuary reefs, where they can live, filter, and reproduce happily among other oysters.

Some important points:

  • Please bring your oysters in bushel baskets, buckets, cages, or any other sturdy container you can take home with you. No cardboard, no plastic, no containers that will be left behind.
  • Please count your oysters before you bring them to us! This helps us keep track of how many oysters we plant. You may want to take a sample from your garden (for example, roughly 10 percent of your garden), count every live oyster in that sample, then multiply that number by 10 to estimate your total number of oysters.

*NOTE: Please return your oysters to the location for the river in or near which they were grown. This will provide them the best chance of survival and will help avoid spreading oyster disease.


(South River/Glebe Bay * )

Londontowne Community Pier (map)

Tuesday,May 17
4:30-7:00 p.m.

Annapolis #1
(Severn River * )

Philip Merrill Environmental Center (map)

Saturday, June 4
10:00 a.m.–Noon

(Miles & Choptank Rivers * )

CBF's Eastern Shore Office (map)

Sunday, June 5
10:00 a.m.-Noon

Solomon's Island
(Patuxent River * )

Chesapeake Biological Laboratory/
Visitor's Center (map)

Sunday, June 12
10:00 a.m.-Noon

Annapolis #2
(Severn River * )

Jonas Green State Park (map)

Tuesday, June 14
4:30-7:00 p.m.

Why return them in the spring? Oyster gardens become very heavy and difficult to keep clean due to summer algae growth. The oysters also have a chance of reproducing this year if they are out on the sanctuary by June.

If you wish, you can wait until fall and return your oysters when you pick up your new batch of foster oysters. We hope that each oyster gardener will produce crops of healthy, adult oysters year after year. A schedule of spat pick-up days, from mid-September through late October, will be posted this summer.


Questions that require an answer are marked with  *
* Please take a moment to provide the following information so that we may keep you updated on issues and events near you.
 E-Mail Address
 First Name
 Last Name
 Zip Code
* Timestamp

You will begin to receive Bay updates from CBF soon.

In the meantime, join the Bay-friendly conversation on Facebook and Twitter!


1-888-SAVEBAY / 1-888-728-3229

BBB Accredited Charity
GuideStar Exchange Gold Participant Seal
Charity Watch Top-Rated

Bids & ProposalsPrivacy Policy

© 2016 Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
All Rights Reserved.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is a nonprofit,
tax-exempt charitable organization under
Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.