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Relay Reef in Mobile Bay to Open for Harvest

October 12, 2010

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) Marine Resources Division announces the opening of the Relay Reef in Mobile Bay to the harvest of oysters beginning on October 21, 2010.  This reef was created by the oyster relay project conducted in March of this year and the opening will allow the first harvest from this reef. 

The reef will be divided into two harvest areas; an area for tongs and an area for oyster dredges.  The tonging area, on the southern half of the reef, will be open for harvest from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a limit of eight sacks per person or a maximum of 16 sacks allowed per boat. The dredge area, on the northern half of the reef, will be open for harvest from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., with a limit of 16 sacks per boat. Only boats with a draft less than four feet will be allowed on the reef to minimize damage to the reef. Sack size and proper culling of oysters will be strictly enforced. 

Dredges must be inspected and permitted at the Marine Resources Division’s Dauphin Island office.  Inspections will be conducted Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.  Dredges must have a self-dumping basket and cannot exceed 125 pounds or have more than 16 teeth which must be spaced less than three inches apart.

All harvested oysters must be inspected by Marine Resources Division staff and tagged at one of the oyster management stations. Oyster management stations will be located inside East Fowl River and at the Heron Bay Cut-off.  Oyster tags can be purchased at either oyster management station.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions:  Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries.  To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com .

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