Apalachicola Bay commercial oyster bag limit lowered to 3

The commercial bag limit for oysters in Apalachicola Bay will be lowered to three bags per harvester during the winter season, Sept. 1 through May 31. Several other oyster conservation measures implemented previously will also continue this winter season. These changes are effective in all of Apalachicola Bay, including all waters of Indian Lagoon in Gulf County.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) began implementing conservation measures in the fall of 2014 in an effort to help the Apalachicola Bay oyster population recover from the effects of low river flow. Apalachicola Bay oyster populations have significantly declined in recent years due to lack of sufficient fresh water flows in the Apalachicola River.

The FWC will continue to assess the health of the bay.

Changes are effective Sept. 1 through May 31 and include:

The daily commercial harvest and possession limit is three bags of oysters in the shell per person (each bag is equivalent to 60 pounds or two 5-gallon buckets).

The daily recreational harvest per person, vessel and possession limit is 5 gallons of oysters in the shell (previously two bags per day).

Commercial and recreational oyster harvest is closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

Portions of the areas known as areas 1612 and 1622 are closed south of Sheepshead Bayou.

All other harvest regulations remain in effect.

To learn more about commercial oyster harvest, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing, click on “Saltwater,” “Commercial” and “Oyster.”