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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

SCDNR closing public shellfish harvesting season on Fri. May 31

Byevalves

Posted by Caylin Gregory on Wed, May 15, 2019 at 3:37 PM

ERIN WEEKS
  • Erin Weeks

They don't say to only eat oysters in 'R' months for nothin.'

South Carolina’s 2018-19 season to harvest oysters, mussels, clams and all other bivalves from State shellfish grounds and public shellfish grounds is coming to an end, according to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) officials.


The season will close Fri. May 31 due to the limitation of shellfish harvesting during the warmer summer months. Commercial harvesters are excluded from these restrictions.


Harvesting is expected to reopen to the public on Oct. 1 2019 when water temperatures begin to cool. Because, according to DNR, higher bacterial levels occur when water temperatures exceed 80 degrees, shellfish harvesting during the summer is limited to commercial harvesters "who can meet rigorous handling requirements."

Check out oyster farms like Charleston Oyster Farm, Lowcountry Oyster Co., Barrier Island Oyster Co., Toogoodoo Oyster Co., and more, who grow their bivalves in floating or bottom cage systems. You can snag a single at a number of area bars and restaurants, or give 'em a ring to see if they have a bushel available. 

While public harvesting may be at a temporary standstill, DNR is accepting recycled oyster shells year-round. Clam and whelk shells are also accepted.


The shells are returned to their homes along the shorelines, replenishing harvested beds.


All are invited to assist DNR with their community-based oyster restoration work. For more information on how to contribute to South Carolina’s oyster mission, visit the SCORE webpage.

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