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2008 Fall Oyster Harvest Season - Mullica River (Fitney Bit)

October 23, 1008

The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, with the approval of the Atlantic Coast Section of the New Jersey Shellfisheries Council, will open the oyster bed known as Fitney Bit, located at the mouth of the Mullica River (see chart below), to a limited one-week oyster harvest season. The season will commence on Monday, November 10, 2008 and end on Saturday, November 16, 2008 (daily harvest times are sunrise to sunset).

The harvest is open to all commercial and recreational shellfish license holders. Recreational shellfish license holders will be limited to 150 oysters or clams in aggregate per day. As per the Atlantic Coast Harvest Season regulations (NJAC 7:25-19.5), shellfish harvest will be limited to hand tongs only. In addition, all other oyster beds listed under the Atlantic Coast Harvest Season regulations (NJAC 7:25-19.5) will remain closed to harvest. (See chart of harvest area boundaries below.)

The Fitney Bit Oyster Intermediate Transplant Project was initiated in the fall of 2001 when approximately 2,000 bushels of seed oysters were transplanted from natural oyster seed beds in the Mullica River to a four-acre parcel on Fitney Bit, located at the mouth of the Mullica River. A subsequent 2,000-bushel intermediate transplant was completed in the fall of 2006 on a new adjacent four-acre parcel. The goals of these efforts were to restore extant historic oyster beds in the Mullica River and to provide the public with an opportunity to harvest oysters along the Atlantic Coast of New Jersey. The decision to open Fitney Bit for a limited fall harvest season was based on a review of the Bureau of Shellfisheries ongoing monitoring of bed conditions (% oyster), mortality and growth of the transplanted oysters.

For more information regarding the Fitney Bit oyster harvest season, please contact the Nacote Creek Shellfish Office at 609-748-2040.

For more information on the Mullica River Oyster Restoration Project, see the January, 2007, "feature article" by biologists Gustavo Calvo and Jeff Normant.

Location Chart of Fitney Bit Oyster Area (pdf, 154kb)
Boundaries of Fitney Bit Oyster Harverst Area (pdf, 81kb)

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Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: October 23, 2008