NJ: 2011 Spring Oyster Harvest Season – Mullica River

The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, with the advice of
the Atlantic Coast Section of the New Jersey Shellfisheries
Council, will open the oyster beds known as Fitney Bit and
Oysterbed Point located at the mouth of the Mullica River to a
limited one-week oyster harvest season. The season will commence on
Monday, April 11, 2011 and end on Saturday, April 16, 2011 (daily
harvest times are sunrise to sunset). The harvest is open to all
commercial and recreational shellfish license.

Recreational shellfish license holders will be limited to 150
oysters or clams in aggregate per day. As per the Atlantic Coast
Harvest Season regulations (NJAC 7:25-19.5), shellfish harvest will
be limited to hand tongs only. Please note that the oyster bed
known as the Reef Bed listed under the Atlantic Coast Harvest
Season regulations (NJAC 7:25-19.5) will remain closed to harvest.
See charts below.

The Mullica River oyster intermediate transplant project was
initiated in the fall of 2001 when approximately 2,000 bushels of
seed oysters were transplanted from the natural oyster seed beds in
the Mullica River to a four acre parcel on Fitney Bit located at
the mouth of the Mullica River. A subsequent 2,000-bushel
intermediate transplant was completed in the fall of 2006 on an
adjacent four-acre parcel. (See see the feature article, Mullica
River Oyster Restoration Project for background information.)

These efforts were to try and restore extant historic oyster
beds in the Mullica River and to provide the public with an
opportunity to harvest oysters along the Atlantic Coast of New
Jersey. The decision to open Fitney Bit and Oysterbed Point for a
limited fall harvest season was based on a review of the Bureau of
Shellfisheries ongoing monitoring of bed conditions (% oyster),
mortality and growth of the transplanted oysters.

If there are any questions regarding the oyster harvest season,
please contact the Nacote Creek Shellfish Office at
609-748-2040.

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