News Releases

Conservation-based oyster harvest changes to continue through summer season in Apalachicola Bay

News Release

Friday, May 29, 2015

Media contact: Amanda Nalley, 850-410-4943

Last fall, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) implemented several conservation measures in an effort to help the Apalachicola Bay oyster population recover from the effects of low river flow. Apalachicola Bay oyster populations have significantly declined in recent years due to lack of sufficient fresh water flows in the Apalachicola River. Many of the changes implemented last fall for the winter harvest season (Sept. 1-May 31) will continue during the summer season (June 1-Aug. 31) in Apalachicola Bay, including all waters of Indian Lagoon in Gulf County.

The FWC will continue to assess the health of the bay to make sure this critical natural resource is protected.

Changes effective June 1 include:

  • Closing commercial and recreational harvest of oysters in the area commonly known as East Hole.
  • Lowering the daily commercial harvest and possession limit from 20 to five  bags of oysters in the shell per person (each bag is equivalent to 60 pounds or two 5-gallon buckets).
  • Lowering the daily recreational harvest per person, vessel and possession limit all to 5 gallons of oysters in the shell (previously two bags per day; a bag is equivalent to 60 pounds or two 5-gallon buckets).
  • Closing commercial and recreational oyster harvest on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from June 1 through July 16.
  • Closing commercial and recreational harvest on Saturdays and Sundays from July 20 through Aug. 28.

All other harvest regulations remain in effect.

To learn more about commercial oyster harvest, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater,” “Commercial” and “Oyster.”



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