Shell Lab field trip

Today my group of oyster gardeners and their families all met at the Auburn Shell Lab to see what the oyster garden and oyster reef restoration project in Mobile Bay is all about. 

After learning about how they get the oysters to spawn we visited each tank to see the progression of the oyster’s growth, starting with the blue vats where millions of the larvae get to swim around and grow without risk of preditors as they would out in the Bay.

the blue vats of oyster larvae swimming around inside

Next, we visited the bags of oyster shells that the larvae will eventually be poured onto.  At that stage the larvae will be large enough to want to set on something and continue growing.

Bags of oyster shells on which larvae will set and continue growing

Scott, our guide, showed us some baby oysters.  You can see them under the bubbles in the picture below.

small oysters

Everyone got to look at the larvae through a microscope.

looking through a microscope

Scott then showed us the different oyster cages they’re using for the oyster gardens.  Some are in the experimental stage. 

This is the cage we are using in our garden. We have 4 of them.

What a great project.  We’re looking forward to receiving our oysters and starting the garden.