Friday, September 25, 2009

Too little...Too late

Remember back in December of last year I commented on the damage that had been done to the oyster beds in Galveston Bay by Hurricane Ike? Remember when I said that the spawning season was on or about May first and that if the larvae could not find a hard substrate to attach to within 15 days that they would die? So therefore the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department had until then to clean and or prepare the oyster beds or the oyster harvest would be damaged for years to come? Remember that I said that I really didn't expect TPWD to get off their duff and do anything in that time frame because of lack of money and lack of desire? And that if they DID do anything it would take forever and that it would be too little, too late by then? I was apparently right...

"The $810,000 project by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department eventually will lead to the reopening of public oyster reefs to commercial fishing, experts say."

"Crews have put a layer of reef-building materials, called clutch, on about 20 acres of oyster habitat. The river rock and crushed concrete will provide habitat for oyster larvae.

The restoration project, which began this month, has forced closure of the area to commercial fishermen for the next two years to allow the oysters to recover, according to Rohrer.

The department is working to restore two acres of habitat in San Leon through "oyster gardening." Mesh bags filled with oyster larvae are being hung from piers. Oysters that grow in the mesh bags then will be scattered on reefs constructed near Eagle Point."

I hope you don't like oysters, because it is going to be a good long time before the oyster reefs come back. By that time, I expect most of the commercial oyster men to be gone. They were already hurting before the storm. If they can't haul in any oysters for however many years it takes for the reefs to rebound, they'll be forced to close their doors. This delay was the straw the broke the camel's back.


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