Current status of dermo disease, Perkinsus marinus, and oyster harvest in West Bay, Galveston, Texas
The coastal areas of Texas received above normal rainfall during 2006 and 2007. Thereby reducing the salinity in West Bay, the high salinity arm of the Galveston Bay system. This condition has resulted in reduced Dermo disease intensity in oysters and increased oyster harvest. West Bay water salinity usually varies from the high 20’s to the low 30’s ppt. In 2007 the salinity generally ranged 20 +/- 2ppt. Although the incidence of Dermo infections remained high, the intensity of (weighted incidence) was below usual levels. Preliminary results of studies regarding Dermo infections of oyster spat show that infection initiation is “proximity” dependant. Speculation is advanced regarding the observation that intertidal oyster populations appear to survive Dermo disease better than subtidal populations.