Thursday, September 24, 2009

Oyster Placement Date Sunday October 25 Caged Oysters Growing No Reproduction

Our dive team has settled on the morning of Sunday October 25 for the next oyster placement in the Charles River Estuary. We will need volunteers to help out measuring oysters, some light moving of equipment, and of course kids (6-12 years old) to help spread the oysters. Please email us if you want to be a part of this event.

Our caged oysters in the Charles are continuing to grow at an amazing pace. Since placing them on August 12, they have grown from the size of dimes to Kennedy half dollars. It is amazaing to pull up the cage and see all the other creatures that have set up home. You can see photos here.
Oyster Cages in September

The smaller oyster that is just right of center at the top is a bit larger than the original size.

There was no sign of young oyster spat settlement on the bags of shell we set down. The shell bags had many barnacles and mussells, but no sign of oysters. This is not a surprise as we were not fully expecting reproduction until year two. Also, the silt run-off and deposition was extensive and buried a fair percentage of them. The photo below shows one of the quoahog shells we placed.

Here is a link to the full slide show of the bags of shell.

Finallly, the Army Corps of Engineers has been providing some informal advise to MOP. They had an underwater camera that needed testing and they have imaged portions of the Charles Estuary for us.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Caged Oysters Growing Surprisingly Well- Lots of Other Sea Life

On August 12th we hung two cages containing dimed sized oysters off of the docks at the Constitution Marina in Charlestown. 23 days later many of the dimed sized oysters have grown larger than quarters.

A few attached to our anchor bricks, which was a bit of a surprise.

The cages also teemed with sea-life with lots of shrimp and other small creatures. Perhaps there is something about oysters that draws them into the cages. Or the cages might be a haven from preditors, like an oyster reef.

Here is a view of the cage assembly, we rinsed them off before replacing them in the water. This removed a great deal of the fouling organisms.

Here is an oyster that has adhered to the brick weight. We were surprised to see this occur with an oyster at this age. But we started this pilot to learn and are we ever!
This cage was pressed between the dock and the bottom and had several crabs. We removed the crabs and hung it in a different location where it should remain off of the bottom.

So we now know that oysters can grow nicely in the Charles Estuary as well as that they can survive the winter.

Here is a link to a more complete series of photos.Oyster Cages Charles River

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Grant Research-- Deadlines

While researching oyster restoration late last night, I came across a terrific program in New Jersey that was funded by the Fish America Foundation and NOAA. Hurrying to their web-sites, I was dissappointed that we had missed the deadline for applications for this year. But we will be ready to apply in the 2010 application cycle.

We also are getting ready to file for a grant for Boston's Chelsea Creek.

Here is the link to the NJ program...

NJ Mullica River Oyster Restoration