Saving Oysters in Oregon – week 6

Call me Captain!

I now officially hold an Oregon boater’s license.  After two whole days of an online crash course, I should now know about the official road rules of the sea.. and the appropiate types of toilets for different vessels.  The course was very comprehensive, and after taking it, I know a lot about boating legalities and issues I had never even thought of before, but there was just so much information!  I hope I can keep straight who has the right of way on the ocean and what different honks mean.

The course, however, didn’t teach me HOW to drive a boat.  After I had my printed boating certificate, I excitedly got into our 16-foot vessel, and immediately realized.. “I don’t know how to START this thing..”.  I had two great teachers though – Ali and Adam.  Ali dealt with the fundamentals, like pump the gas to start the motor, and Adam dealt with the get-to-know-your-boat’s-limits, like quickly push the throttle to the max to see how fast it can go from neutral!  I’m starting to get the hang of it, but other boats should probably still watch out when I get on the water!


Oly-ROCS go into Mass Production

We are revving up for our first deployment of 10-15 Oly-ROCS into the bay!

It will happen next week, so I have been busy building.  Our prototypes seem pretty hardy so hopefully they’ll survive their new homes in the water.  If not, we shall see what’s wrong with this first deployment.  We’re also going to be testing different shell orientations in the cement – how they fare out against the elements, how well they attract native oyster larvae to settle, and how settled juveniles survive on them.

We have two different shell orientations we’re checking out:

1) Shells sticking up, and
2) Shells flat against the concrete.


Both orientations can be found in nature, the former usually found on the sides of smaller rocks or on rounded sides, and the latter usually seen on the flat sides of larger rocks (from my observation).



These are Pacific oyster shells (non-native, from Japan), that have native Olympia oyster juveniles on them.  Two years ago, these ‘shell bags’ were strategically put out in the bay to attract Olympia oyster larvae, but the oysters can’t stay in these orange bags forever.  Some restoration efforts have simply scattered those shells with the attached juveniles into bays, but they can be easily washed away with the tides or smothered with sand and mud.

Our idea:  A few Oly-ROCS will also be made with these shells, and we shall see if this is an option for them!






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3 thoughts on “Saving Oysters in Oregon – week 6

  1. I’m a bit late commenting, and I see you’ve already posted some new oly-roc pics, but I wonder the benefits of using olympic vs pacific shells in your structures – are there differences in the shells?

  2. Yes! Pacific Oysters are much larger. The max size of an Olympia oyster is about 5-7cm, but the Pacific oyster can go to about that size in a year!

    As for differences relating to preferences for settlement, there are conflicting studies. A recent masters thesis here at OIMB showed that there is no significant difference between the preferences of an olympia oyster to settle on pacific or native olympia oysters shell. However, past studies HAVE shown a significant difference. .. soo.. haha

    BUT in my Oly-ROCS, I used olympia oyster shells for recruiting. Coos Bay is one of the few locations where we have access to them, so we’re taking advantage of that. Plus, you have to pay for Pacific shells. The ones where I used Pacific shells, they already have juvenile oysters on them. They were set out in shell bags 2 years ago.

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