Conversation around the oyster sheds at this time of the year is “what is the catch of wild rock oysters like”? Why is this so, you might ask?
Well in NSW oysters come from 2 sources Hatcheries and out in the rivers from wild stock. Oyster farmers use this wild resource to stock there farms and they put material into the water, on particular leases to catch this oyster spat. eg plastic slats, plastic tubes and some growers still use tarred and cemented wooden sticks but this is becoming a thing of the past. This generally occurs in late summer and early autumn when Rock Oysters tend to spawn and reproduce. The young larvae swim and grow for approximately 21 days or so and are concentrated in the channels leading from rivers and estuaries that grow oysters. Oyster farmers take advantage of this and have catching leases in these areas .
The minute spat generally become visiable around this time and oyster farmers can make an assessment of how many oysters they have for the future. We catch oysters on French plastic tubes and plastic slats which are especially designed for this purpose and in our case we use a lease in the Moruya River and one in Narooma . It appears that this year we have a very heavy settlement of oysters especially in Moruya. This is good for our of supplies of wild stock which will be marketed in 2 to 3 years time.