Mortalities of oysters reaching harvest size have been experienced by growers at some lease areas during late spring and summer. To begin to address these unexplainable mortalities, oyster growth, mortality, and health, along with basic but key water quality parameters, were monitored over a production cycle in 2020-21 at four farms in two lease areas. Results of this pilot study conducted by the UF/IFAS Shellfish Program can be found here.
In 2023, a network of growers was formed across the state to increase the number of participating farms in a monitoring program providing greater replication and environmental gradients. Growers receive equipment, sampling supplies, and guidance so information on water quality, oyster performance, and health can be obtained from farms in ten water bodies.