The East Matagorda Bay Oyster is making a comeback. But unfortunately this season’s opening has been delayed The commercial Oyster Beds are located about 10 miles south of Sargent and fan out from Live Oak Bay and Dressing point. This is that time of the year when one of my favorite foods is ready to harvest around Sargent Texas. These incredible morsels are some of the best tasting Oyster in the United States. This year the state of Texas Health Department has delayed the opening of the Sargent Oyster season because of massive rains before the November 2015 opening day. but look for the opening in next few weeks as the influx of fresh water subsides and colder weather invades this part of Texas plumping the Oysters. After the last 6 years of drought has slowed the Oysters of East Matagorda Bay are making a comeback and will taste incredible for years to come. Conditions continue to improve.
Remember over the last 6 years East Matagorda Bay and Greater Sargent had been whacked by a really bad drought. This wreaked Havoc on the bay especially for filter feeders and other smaller organisms that thrive with the mix of fresh and saltwater.
Recently I interviewed Leslie Hartman. Leslie told me; “There were times over the last 6 years when the Salinity of East Matagorda Bay was actually higher than the Gulf of Mexico”. “This condition is called Hyper Salinity” and “occurs because of evaporation” and lack of freshwater inflow. “When you combines this with the shallow nature of East Matagorda Bay it got really serious” says Leslie Hartman Matagorda Bay Texas Parks and Wildlife Ecosystem Leader. “Fresh Water is essential” for the “Nutrient load caused by this mixing of fresh with Saltwater”. Many lower level animals are the basics of many small bait fish and small crustaceans including Crabs. These are the building blocks for the bay and the building of the food chain.
Leslie Hartman and her crew which is made up from Volunteers and Scientist from Texas Parks and Wildlife team up to take samples of Matagorda Bay. They do this from many different locations. They have been very excited because much of her survey is finding parts of the bay back to normal with intermittent inflows of fresh clean water.
So look for good fall fishing because of an abundance of bait and also look for better Oysters this year because of fresh water flows across the reefs. Nutrient rich waters are meeting incredibly high tides. Yes some roads flooded but the net result for Sargent and the Bay have been great. It caused so much needed scouring out bottom and turning over the water column. All good news for Sargent and East Matagorda Bay. Happy Oyster eating Sargent.