New Oyster Reef Opening

The Marine Resources Division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources announced today that the new oyster reef in Portersville Bay created by shell planting in June 2002 will be open to the harvest of oysters by hand tongs only beginning May 11, 2004.

The reef is located off the northeast end of Coffee Island. The sack limit for this reef will be 16 per boat.

Recent biological sampling indicates numerous harvestable size oysters but also the presence of large numbers of oyster drill eggs. Upon hatching, young oyster drills can devastate oysters present in an area.

Commissioner Barnett Lawley, after reviewing biological information on the reef, decided that opening this reef would allow oystermen to take oysters before drill predation destroys them and also to catch and remove drills.

For more information on Alabama’s marine fisheries and their regulations, go to The Marine Resources Division offices are located at the Claude Peteet Mariculture Center, Gulf Shores, AL, 251-968-7576 and 2 Iberville Street North, Dauphin Island, AL, 251-861-2882.