Middle Peninsula Spring Oyster Fair April 27, 2019

Photos from 2017 Spring Oyster Fair
(click on the large frame to view the slides)



The TOGA-sponsored Annual Spring Oyster Fair will be held April 27 at the Gwynn's Island Civic Center, 1996 Old Ferry Rd, Hudgins, VA 23076. Directions and the program follow.

Directions- Many mapping services do not accurately direct you to the Civic Center. When you cross the bridge to Gwynn's Island, you will be on Cricket Hill Rd. Keep straight onto Old Ferry Road for 1.6 miles, then turn right, still on Old Ferry Road and after 150 yards, the Civic Center is the white building on the right with a horseshoe driveway in front.

9:00 AM – Registration begins with coffee, fruit, breakfast rolls, etc.

9:00 to 10:00 – Vendors of oyster gardening equipment, spat and supplies are invited to display their wares for sale. Spat availability is uncertain at this time due to the cold winter. Normally, spat are larger this time of year because they were spawned in the previous fall. This is also a good time to question Master Oyster Gardeners and vendors about your gardening issues.

10:00 to 10:10 – Remarks by TOGA President Terry Lewis including a preview of upcoming events.

10:10 to 11:00 – We are happy to announce that our keynote speaker will again be Dr. Jim Wesson (VMRC retired but still active) with an entirely new talk.

Title:  Can Virginia Have More Oysters, More Oyster Growers, and Less Conflicts in the Future?

Everyone says we want more oysters in the Bay, but what does that mean. Long term surveys of wild oyster populations show little sign of recovery, even though the "buzz" of the popular press would indicate that if we spend more money on restoration, that we will have a thriving, growing population. At the same time, hatchery-based oyster aquaculture is growing and putting more oysters in the Bay, but no one wants any of this activity in sight of their homes. How can we keep oyster production in Virginia at the forefront of the United States and even the world in the future? These are questions that are being examined in a multi-year project funded by the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program. The first year of the project has been completed by a team including Roger Mann, Jim Wesson, Marcia Berman, and Missy Southworth and these results show many issues that must be resolved, before we can have more oysters in the Bay.       --Jim Wesson

11:00 to 11:20 – For new oyster gardeners, Vic Spain will discuss How to Get Started Oyster Gardening. Details include how to get spat (oyster seed) and when best to deploy, equipment needed (on display) and how to maintain it, how many per cage, how long to harvest, sanitation, how to get help, helpful literature, etc. Experienced gardeners should feel free to skip this portion.                                                                                                             --Vic Spain, MOG

Dr. Jim Wesson
Keynote speaker