Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Oyster Fisherman

We recently took a couple of weeks and traveled up to the panhandle of Florida.  We stayed on St. George Island in our motorhome at the State Park.  We chose this location to be close to the towns Apalachicola and East Point.  These communities have a rich culture of fishing and we spent several days learning about the oyster fishing business from the locals.  The oyster fishermen from East Point are a rugged group of men and women that work long hard days out on the bay collecting oysters.  They fish from a simple flat bottom boat built out of plywood, using long pole tongs that act like scissor rakes to scrape up the oysters on the bottom.  The oysterman then heft the poles loaded with oysters up and sort them on a culling board according to their size.  Sadly the oyster fishing is in great danger in region.  Oysters require the right amount of fresh water mixing with the salt water to grow.  The Apalachicola River originates in north Georgia and flows down to the Gulf of Mexico.  This fresh water is the life blood that is required to spawn and grow oysters.  In recent years the state of Georgia has diverted water from the river to provide water to areas like Atlanta.  Each state has valid reasons for their use and need of the water from this great river, but hopefully a solution can be found to help save the oyster habitat.,_Florida

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