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It's suddenly been feeling like summer out here this week, although from the looks of the

Moby approves of the new shell growth we're starting to see on the oysters!

substantial amount of new shell growth on the oysters, they've been feeling it for a while longer than I have. Casco Bay has been warming up fast, and for the last month and half or so I've been focused on making sure the farm is good and ready for how much these babies are going to gain in size over the next 4-5 months.

This prep mostly consists of spreading my crop out as evenly and thinly as I can, getting every last grow out bag back into the water. The oysters (especially last year's seed) get dispersed into those bags at as small a volume as possible leaving them as much room as possible to grow into. This ensures that they will have ample access to their food supply as it floats on by, as well as plenty of room to move

Gear air-dries on a calm sunny day to help managing fouling.

and tumble around, which helps them to develop nice round, strong, even shells.

I aim to have all this prep done with before this year's crop of seed is ready to be picked up, which is usually sometime between now and the end of June, a goal which I am well on track for this year. Once the babies join the farm, they will require a lot of tending and grading and attention, so it's nice if the bigger oysters can just do their thing without needing a lot from me.

The other task that's back in the regular routine is air-drying! The oysters aren't the only thing that's starting to grow like crazy now that the bay is warming up. All of the fouling organisms are also back in growth mode - the algae, tunicates, barnacles, mussels, and squirts are also making their homes in and on my gear so regularly flipping bags up to air dry becomes an important means of keeping the oysters and their gear clean.

a rouge beast of an oyster I found while doing some low tide mooring inspections! Maybe 6 or 7 years old?

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