Oyster Council chairman says spillway is hurting production

Oyster Council chairman says spillway is hurting production

PASS CHRISTIAN, Miss. (WLOX) - As you can imagine, those on the Governor’s Oyster Council are not happy with the current oyster production in Mississippi Gulf Coast waters.

Dave Dennis was picked by Gov. Phil Bryant to chair the oyster council back in 2015. He said a lack of oysters and the recent opening of the Bonnet Carré Spillway have made a weak oyster crop almost non-existent.

The council set a goal to have a million sacks of oysters collected by the year 2025.

“There have been a lot of concerns with it,” Dennis said. “In this exact environment, fresh water coming in from the Bonnet Carré Spillway has to be impactful. The mortality rate on oysters is currently at 58%. Now, is that directly, 100% attributable to fresh water coming in from the Bonnet Carré? You can’t honestly say 100%, but there must be a contributing factor with the fresh water and an amazing amount of affluence of other things coming in.”

Dennis also said one possibility for better oyster production could be projects like harvesting program that recently began just south of Deer Island.

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