Oyster Bed Destroyed, Farmer Says It’s Because of Heavy Rain

Shellfish harvesting waters closed in south Alabama
Shellfish harvesting waters closed in south Alabama.

Donny McMahon and his 6-year-old grandson Jake are shocked to see empty crates after trying to harvest their oysters.

“The water just created a big top layer of fresh water and usually the salinity will work itself in a few weeks, and it didn’t, so even a month and a half later we are still experiencing fresh water in the bay,” says McMahon.

Causing a big kill to the crop.

“Fresh water will kill them, they’ve got to have salinity, and that’s what happened here,” says McMahon.

Here along busy Scenic Highway, McMahon also has an oyster bed, where he lost 400,000 oysters, creating a huge financial loss for him and his company Pensacola Bay Oysters.

“We’re going to suffer a financial loss, but the good news is, we did some steps to bring in a nursery here to bring in some baby oysters here, to sell,” says McMahon.

Meaning the oyster bed can start over again, but for now, people who enjoy the oysters might have to wait a little longer to get the oysters that are locally grown.

“They will still have availability of oysters from out of market, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, but they won’t be able to get the best, which is Pensacola Bay Oysters,” says McMahon.

And in the words of the vice president of the company little 6-year-old Jake, they have no need to give up despite Mother Nature.

“We don’t quit,” says 6-year-old Jake.

Not quitting, and trying again for a better season.

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