MOBILE COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) – Alabama’s oyster harvesting season began on Monday.
Harvesters launched their boats near the bridge to Dauphin Island early Monday morning for the start of the season.
Officials say this year’s harvest is expected to be as good as last season.
“We’re hoping for about 20,000 sacks of oysters which is about 2 million pounds. Last year we were open for about 47 days,” says Scott Bannon, the Director of the Marine Resources Division for the Alabama Department of Conservation.
Enforcement officers were out in full force making sure harvesters didn’t exceed their sack limit. They were also checking to make sure the oysters were at least three inches.
This year, recreational oyster catchers are required to purchase recreational harvest tags. Tags are available at the Oyster Management Station at 16871 Dauphin St. Recreational oystercatchers are allowed to harvest 100 legal-size oysters per person once a day.
Commercial oysters catchers are required to purchase a commercial oyster catcher’s license. Commercial oyster catchers are allowed to harvest six sacks of oysters per person/vessel once a day. Commercial oyster catchers can visit the Marine resources division at 2 North Iberville Drive or call them at 251-861-2882.
Recreational oyster catchers are allowed to harvest in the same area as commercial catchers. However, recreational and commercial catches cannot be transported together.
All oyster catchers are only allowed to Tong and Hand method.
Weekday harvest areas will be 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Weekend harvest areas will be open on Oct. 9, 16, 23 and 30 from 7 a.m. to noon.