Growth and mortality of the oyster, Crassostrea virginica (Gmelin) in an electric generating station cooling lake receiving heated discharge water.
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The feasibility of off-bottom oyster culture within a 1053-hectare cooling lake at the Cedar Bayou Generating Station in Baytown, Texas was investigated. Study oysters were dredged from a natural reef in upper Galveston Bay, at a spoil area adjacent to the Houston Ship Channel at Morgan Point. Excessive rains and subsequently reduced salinities (generally < 5 ppt), existed throughout the entire study, February 3, 1973 to March 27, 1974. Adverse salinity conditions caused increased mortalities and termination of the initial study period, February 3, 1973 to April 30, 1973 (Period A). Upon the return of satisfactory salinity conditions a second stock of oysters was introduced on December 9, 1973 and held in the cooling lake until March 27, 1974 (Period B). During both study periods, air weights and lengths of most oysters and in- water weights and lengths of selected groups of oysters were regularly analyzed at each station.