Summer 2009

ReClam the Bay at LBI Foundation of the Arts and Sciences…Clam Shucking

Wednesday July 15, Note from Gef:  Wes Dalzell did a great job photographing what went on yesterday (Monday July 14) with the oyster larvae setting on the shells in the tank.  We had two packages of larvae with a total of 3.2 million.  They went into the tank where they will stay with only the air blower on to circulate the water for 3 days.  On Friday, they will go onto raw water and stay there for about 3 weeks when we will put the shells down on the reef.

Update July 20. 2009

This morning, with baited breath, we took the lid of the setting tank on the Wildwood Avenue Pier in Ocean Gate to check to see if our eyed oyster larvae had done anything.

Last Monday we put about 3 million eyed oyster larvae into the tank with the air blower running and poured them onto the bags of surf clam shell and few bags of oyster shell. Last Friday the air blower was removed and the water pump, the same kind we use at the upweller tanks, was put in-line to supply the hopefully newly set larvae with fresh food from the bay.

Today, the bags had some siltation on them and we couldn’t immediately tell if we had been successful. So we removed all the bags and laid them on the pier, noticing that there was some sand on the bottom of the tank which we flushed out and gave the tank sides a brief swish to remove the gunk (scientific term). Once the sand was off the bottom we saw small patches of bumps on the bottom of the tank which upon further inspection proved to be newly set oyster larvae. Then we checked on some shells and, sure enough, the larvae had set on the shells. What great news!!!

So the team, Vic Roth, Matt Gregg, our pair of crack Ocean County Carpenters (Paul Kennedy, the Mayor of the lovely Ocean Gate and Pete Arch, fixer extraordinaire), put the bags back into the tank and put the bay water to them again.

We will leave the shell bags in the tank for about two more weeks, maybe three and then take them out to the reef to put them overboard.

I called John Kraeuter from the Haskin Lab and told him just what I mentioned and he said that the sand that was in the bottom of the tank may have had set on it too. Oh well, too late but maybe we also created a mini oyster reef under the Wildwood Avenue pier for the future.

I brought back a shell with some spat on it and we are going to try to get a picture of it to put onto the website.

Thanks to all who have made this possible and to the folks from Ocean Gate who have been keeping a good eye on the tank for the past week.

Gef Flimlin (ICOP)