Caring For Your Oyster Cages
Bit of Fuss for a Year = A Bunch of Filterers for a Lifetime”
grow during the warmer months and become dormant when the weather turns cold. Change
your cage placement in late Fall and early Spring to promote oyster growth and survival.
Summer (August/September): High Not Dry
Change Your Clock/Low & Slow at the Dock
Get your new
oysters in the water within 2 hours of delivery.
Tie the cage with
the oysters about one foot below the low water level. Oysters grow best in the
upper water column where food and oxygen are plentiful, but they must stay wet.
Back Up at the Dock
Lower the cages until
the oysters are just above the river bottom and will be covered with water even
during extreme low tides or storms. Oyster become dormant and can remain
healthy even if entirely encased in ice. But, they will die if exposed to
freezing air temperatures or buried in sediment.
Spring/Early Summer (May/June): Up & Out
- Raise the cages
up to about one foot below the low water level once the risk of freezing air
temperatures has past.
Care & Maintenance:
- Return your
oysters your Severn River Maryland Grow Oysters organization.
Severn-raised oysters will be placed on a sanctuary reef in the
where they will be protected from harvesting and can
promote water quality for their lifetime.
require water flow to survive and grow. Take a few simple actions during the warmer
months to keep the cage mesh open and free of fouling organism.
- Shake: To discourage growth of barnacles and algae, clean
once a week by simply pulling the cage up and down in the water column several
Rattle: If the cage becomes fouled, brush the bars to remove
build up and rinse with a hose. To remove excessive fouling, oysters in cages
can be removed from the water in warm weather for up to 2 hours. Fouling
organisms will dry out and die and can be brushed from the bars more easily.
(Caution: 3 hours of heat or sun exposure may kill the oysters).
Roll: Gently redistribute the oysters after cleaning to
prevent oysters from growing shell around the mesh of the cage.
December 24, 2016
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Severn River Association, PO Box 146, Annapolis, MD 21404
Telephone: 443.569.3556 (voicemail)
improve the health, ecological integrity, and quality of life for humans, flora and fauna living in the Severn River Watershed