I’m proud to be the organizer of the Summerville Saltwater Angler’s annual Ashley River oyster reef building event. We are now in our 5th year of this event, in association with the SCDNR’s SCORE team, led by Michael Hodges. There is nothing we can do to aid the marine ecosystem than plant oyster substrate for building oyster reefs. A single oyster will filter 50 gallons of water a day, and provide the base for the complex food chain that leads up to our desired game fish. Thanks to the club’s conservation oriented membership of women, men and children of all ages, we have now planted an estimated 25,000 lbs of oyster shell over approx 200 yards of river bank along the Ashley. Our first year’s reef now has large clusters of blades and is growing every year.
I’d encourage any group (fishing clubs, church groups, boy scouts, families) to simply contact Michael Hodges (HodgesM@dnr.sc.gov) if you are interested in making your own reef or participating in one of their reef builds that are open to the public. The hard working group at SCORE does all the hard work, and all you need is a crew of approx 12-15 people to help transfer and plant the oyster bags. It’s a small payback for all the enjoyment we get out of our waterways.
Till next year! – Dave
SSWA Ashley River Oyster Planting – 5th Year from RalphPhillipsInshore on Vimeo.