Oyster Management Station and Zone Opening

Pursuant to Section 9-12-28, Code of Alabama 1975 as stated by Rule 220-3-.02, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ (ADCNR) Marine Resources Division (MRD) will open limited areas of public oyster bottoms for weekday harvest beginning on Monday, October 12, 2020, from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Additionally, weekend harvest will be allowed from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. on the following four Saturdays: October 17, 24, 31 and November 7.

New for 2020:  Harvesters can now view their locations and the open harvest areas with Alabama’s Oyster Management Station (OMS) Oyster Grid Map. A link to the map is available at www.outdooralabama.com/fishing/saltwater-fishing.

(Direct link to the grid map: https://aldcnr.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=ac816b5cdcd2442ba46efdd2d86e141e)

During the zone openings, harvesters are reminded to visit the OMS located across from Jemison’s Bait and Tackle at 16871 Dauphin Island Parkway to drop off their OMS ID cards and confirm which zone(s) is open for harvest.

Zone E (Heron Bay) grids will open on October 12. Grids or zones will open and close based on evaluations of the harvest by MRD staff. Future openings will be announced by press release.

“Prior to Hurricane Sally, we surveyed the public oyster bottoms and discovered they showed a potential for harvest that exceeded the previous season,” said Scott Bannon, MRD Director. “We still have some concerns about the hurricane’s impact on the bottoms, but sample trips after Sally made landfall leave us feeling optimistic that catchers could have a better season than in recent years. We have also added some Saturdays this year to allow for young people, who would normally be in school during regular harvest times, to have the opportunity to harvest oysters.”

All commercial oyster catchers, regardless of age, must have a commercial oyster catcher’s license in order to participate in the harvest. For information about licensing and regulations, please contact MRD at (251) 861-2882 or visit the MRD office located at 2 North Iberville Drive, on Dauphin Island.

Harvest Zone Opening: Zone E (Heron Bay) – See map for open grids.

Date/Time of Opening: Monday through Friday, beginning October 12, 2020, from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., and selected Saturdays, from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Oyster Harvest Limits: Commercial oyster catchers may harvest six (6) sacks per person/vessel, per day regardless of how many licensed harvesters are aboard. Recreational oyster catchers may harvest 100 legal size oysters per person, per day. Recreational harvest may only occur in areas and at times that are open for commercial harvest.

Harvest Method: Tong and Hand Only

Management Station Location: Cedar Point Cutoff across from Jemison’s Bait and Tackle in Coden, Alabama

Management Station Hours: Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

READ MORE at gulfcoastnewstoday.com