Water temperature is everything to the humble oyster. Yesterday, I noted a temperature of 70.7 in Widow’s Hole. Perfect swimming weather, and, the threshold that induces oysters to spawn. I had noticed for the last two weeks the increasing size of an oyster’s gonad when I shucked them for guests. Normally, we don’t reach 70 until early July, so this year’s Memorial Day really felt like Indepence Day.
Even though our oysters spawn, we never capture a natural set. The fast current between Greenport and Shelter Island, which produces our fine animals, washes out any zygots that may form. So, we rely on hatcheries to provide us with spat. We have permits pending to build our own hatchery at the end of a 175 foot dock which we also want to build. Normally, the DEC would deny any building at the end of a dock, but, because it’s for aquaculture, we have a chance. I’ve asked our state legislator and national congressman to write letters in support, but have yet to see them.
We’re not real busy now, so are enjoying swimming and rowing in this great weather. There are a good 250,000 oysters I plan to sell in the Fall and Winter. Tomorrow we’ll run another electric line out to our pergula where we sort oysters. Then install some fans to cool it off and blow away the biting sand gnats that can be nasty.