Saturday, May 28, 2016

Conservation-based oyster harvest changes to continue through summer season in Apalachicola Bay

Several oyster conservation measures will continue through the summer harvest season (June 1-Aug. 31) in Apalachicola Bay, including all waters of Indian Lagoon in Gulf County. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) implemented these measures fall 2014 in an effort to help the Apalachicola Bay oyster population recover from the effects of low river flow. Apalachicola Bay oyster populations have significantly declined in recent years due to lack of sufficient freshwater flows in the Apalachicola River.
The FWC will continue to assess the health of the bay to make sure this critical natural resource is properly managed.
Changes effective June 1 include:
§  Closing commercial and recreational harvest of oysters in the area commonly known as East Hole through Aug. 31.
§  Lowering the daily commercial harvest and possession limit from 20 to four bags of oysters in the shell per person (each bag is equivalent to 60 pounds or two 5-gallon buckets) through Aug. 31.
§  Lowering the daily recreational harvest per person, vessel and possession limit to 5 gallons of oysters in the shell (previously two bags per day; a bag is equivalent to 60 pounds or two 5-gallon buckets) through Aug. 31.
§  Closing commercial and recreational oyster harvest on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from June 1 through July 17.
§  Closing commercial and recreational harvest on Saturdays and Sundays from July 18 through Aug. 31.
All other harvest regulations remain in effect.
To learn more about commercial oyster harvestvisit and click on “Saltwater,” “Commercial” and “Oyster.”