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r Fo ty ll bili a C ila a Av

Innovation and transfer the larvae from tank to tank at just the right moment. That germination and microscopic work is done by professional oyster “hatcheries.” During their larval stage, the oysters grow and change quickly ~ doubling in size every day or so. Soon they are pediveligers and ready for Stage 6. This brings us to the problem of “cultch” ~ that hard substance that oysters must find in order to set. It can be anything hard ~ rock, wood, even some metals. The most common cultch is the shell of mature oysters, alive or dead. This is how massive oyster reefs once formed in the Bay, creating huge structures that reached to the surface. Capt. John Smith found them a hazard to navigation. To d ay, u n for t u nately, oy s ter shells in the Chesapeake are scarce, which makes the reseeding of barren areas nearly impossible without bringing in additional cultch. Oyster shells have been shipped in from Florida by train and truck; fossil shells buried under the Bay mud for hundreds of years have been dredged up; stone, broken concrete, slag, and other materials have been dropped into creeks. It’s a chicken-and-egg problem, isn’t it? You can’t have adult shells without baby oysters, and baby oysters can’t grow without adult shells. So we must never, ever throw oyster 146

Profile for Tidewater Times

June 2017 ttimes web magazine  

Tidewater Times June 2017

June 2017 ttimes web magazine  

Tidewater Times June 2017