An excellent environment for the wild oyster reefs and oyster farms is the North Carolina shoreline. We invite you to come check out the wide array of North Carolina oysters available each week.
Farming Oysters with Katherine McGlade
Katherine McGlade is a 1st generation oyster farmer on a ship named “The Half Shell”, docked in Hatteras, North Carolina. Katherine and her husband, Spurgeon Stowe, cultivate live oysters for Slash Creek Oysters.
You can find Slash Creek Oysters located on Hatteras Island. A small plot off the coast of North Carolina, that permits the floating oysters bags to reach their full maturity. Slash Creek Oysters are born along the Pamlico Sound, an 80 mile stretch of lagoon. This is the largest lagoon in the U.S. and it is located on the east coast border in North Carolina.
The best time to hunt oysters in North Carolina is during the “r” months–fall, winter, and spring. Months that are the best time for hunting oysters include:
This is because the summertime is when they are spawning. They spawn in the Gulf of Mexico during the months of May through August.
Spurgeon Stowe Honors Earth Day
Spurgeon Stowe put together an event in honor of Earth Day aboard his head boat, the “Miss Hatteras”. This celebration was done as an attempt to create more green jobs and to restore the oyster reefs. Forty guests went along with Spurgeon Stowe to the Clam Shoal. This is where an artificial oyster reef is under construction.
A natural oyster reef is important for the environment. These reefs behave as essential embankments. Providing various marine life, fish, and particularly, oysters, with an efficient environment to live.
What are the Benefits of Oysters?
What benefits do oysters provide? There are a number of benefits provided by oysters, such as social, ecological, and economic. The coastal ecosystem is directly related to the health of oysters. Some major benefits the oyster provides includes:
- They are an excellent source of food. A big part of North Carolina tradition is about fishing, both recreational and commercial. Crab and finfish production is aided by the oyster reefs that have been constructed within this area.
- Oysters are great eliminators of algae, harmful pollutants, and excessive sediment build-up. Mature oysters are capable of filtering nearly 50 gallons of water daily. They also behave as a way to tie together the network of equarine food.
Other species of aquamarine life benefit from the oyster reefs. Fish species that are for recreational and commercial fishing benefit from the habitat these reefs form. Nearly 300 organisms may be supported by a healthy oyster reef such as:
- Blue Crabs
- Southern Flounder
Oyster Patch Reefs
The size of an oyster reef can vary. From small–about a tenth of an acre, to much larger, at almost two acres. The living shorelines and patch reefs exist on a smaller scale than the efforts certain restoration groups originally had in mind. Oyster reefs are constructed in areas that have been selected carefully. Using whatever material appears most suitable, such as concrete, murl, shell, or reef balls. Recently it has been experimenting with trying to restore oysters by using concrete coated, upcycled crab pots.
Cultch Planting in the Pamlico Sound
Cultch planting is what is done in an effort to restore oyster growth in a selected habitat. Done by depositing thousands of bundled marine limestone, clam, or oyster shells into shellfish waters of the Pamlico Sound. Cultch is actually oyster larvae that have been colonized (some refer to it as “spat”). This larva attaches itself to the cultch. Within a year and a half to two years, the larvae have grown three inches, which is sufficient for harvesting. When these oysters have attained the legal size for harvesting, the cultch sites are opened to the public. There were 210,272 bundles of cultch planted on 42 acres in the year 2015.
Dedicated to Serving the Freshest Oysters & Seafood
The crew that makes up Locals Seafood is dedicated to the idea that remains an original concept. They make the trip up the North Carolina coast several times a week. This is done to ensure they buy their seafood directly from the source that provides the freshest seafood possible. They then bring this fresh product to Raleigh, it is here that they carve and package it for resale. It is Locals Seafood’s belief that all Eastern North Carolina et al, residents should have access to the bounty of our coast.