Oyster Restoration, Part 2

This is Passport to Texas

In Galveston Bay, some volunteers are gardening oysters. But they’re not looking to eat their produce.

(Water sounds)…We’ve got to rinse off some of the muck.

Texas Parks and Wildlife biologist Bill Rodney pulls up one of the mesh bags that hang off some of the private piers in San Leon.

The pier owners filled these bags with oyster shells and put them in the water at the beginning of the summer. Now, they are teeming with crabs, shrimp, small fish and baby oyster.

Rodney says none of these little critters will be staying in the bags.

Probably in the late fall we’ll pull up all these bags and then we’ll take them out to the reefs that we built to give those little communities a jump start.

It’s like seeing the reef. These reefs aren’t far from shore or the avid anglers of San Leon.

This is a big fishing community. Their motto is they are a drinking community with a fishing problem. These reefs will create structure that attracts fish. By having the reefs close to their pier, they won’t have to go out so far to find fish, and hopefully it will improve the recreational fishing around here.

Volunteers can’t eat the oysters they grow because the water close to shore doesn’t meet water quality standards, but these oysters will help repopulate reefs in the rest of the bay. And if that’s the case, this fishing community is more than happy to help.

That’s our show… we had research and writing help from Gretchen Mahan…the Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration program supports our series… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

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