Christopher Judy is thrilled. At least as much as his cautious nature allows. The head of the shellfish program for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Judy is delighted to report what he calls an “historic spat set,” referring to the crucial moment in the oyster lifecycle when larvae successfully attach to a hard underwater surface, often a piece of shell, where they can gradually grow into adult oysters. The DNR’s annual survey of spat set conducted last fall recorded something extraordinary: Not only are the overall numbers high, but, most crucially, baby oysters turned up all over the place.
Surprise! The Chesapeake Bay oyster is having a very good year.
January 18, 2024