Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science




Four oyster reefs were recreated from oyster shells to historical proportions in the Piankatank River from 1993-1995. In December 1997, two of the reconstructed reefs were supplemented with large broodstock oysters from Tangier and Pocomoke Sounds. Since total quantity as well as density ofbroodstock were believed to be limiting factors for recruitment in this river, adding stock was expected to raise spat recruitment. Methods included dive surveys on the reefs, and dredge and patent tong surveys on the natural oyster bars. The recruitment of spat to both reefs and bars was significantly higher in 1998 (p<0.001) than in the previous four years and a positive interaction (p<0.005) was seen between the reefs and the year 1998. Based on these dat~ stock enhancement in the Piankatank River successfully improved recruitment and suggest oyster restoration may be facilitated in other areas of the Chesapeake Bay by strategic enhancement of spawning stocks.

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