Rehabilitation of public oyster reefs damaged or destroyed by a natural disaster




Hofstetter, R.P.

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Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Coastal Fisheries Branch


Flooding on the Trinity River (Texas) during 1979 was severe. Oyster mortality began in late May when salinity dropped below 5 parts per thousand. By mid-July oyster populations on 217 ha in Trinity Bay suffered 100% mortality and an additional 100-120 ha experienced partial damage. Further flooding occurred during late summer. Oyster growth was slowed and spawning inhibited. The overall spat set was very low (averaging 24 spat per sample). A Federal Grant-In-Aid Award was obtained to spread 39,491 m cubed of oyster shell for cultch at a cost of $619,782.96. Shell plantings were begun on 10 June 1980 and completed on 2 July 1980. Oyster shell was sprayed in a thin layer over 313 ha at nine sites in central Galveston Bay. Planting rates ranged from 77 to 142 m cubed/ha and averaged 126 m cubed/ha. During September 1980 spat were found at all sites. Shells with spat averaged 67.8% of the total number recovered. These had received an average set of 4.8 spat/shell. This is equivalent to a set of 3.7 million spat/ha. Success of the plantings from the fisherman's viewpoint can be judged when the 1980 spat reach marketable size (76 mm +) during the 1982-83 harvest season.


9 pgs.


oyster reefs, disasters, habitat, floods, reefs, oysters, Crassostrea virginica