Oyster take up to 12 to 36 months to grow depending on the location and water temperature the colder the water the slower the growth rates are.
The recommended size for harvesting oysters is from 3″ to 4 1/2″ . The size all depends on the individual choices. Zapco recommends 3 – 3 1/2″
In the event of large rain falls or floods we recommend not to eat your oyster until 1 to 1-1/2 weeks after the rain and check with local authorities before consuming.
The best time to eat oysters is just before they spawn On the East Coast this would be around Fall and Spring time. In the Gulf the oyster spawn all year round due to the water temperature . This does not mean you cannot eat oysters all year round but the difference is oysters that have spawned are flat and watery and do not have a full body. We also recommend amature oyster farmers not to eat oysters in the height of summer unless they come from you favourite professional oyster farmer or fishmonger near you.
When your oysters are ready to be harvested we recommend that the oysters are placed under the water for several days prior to eating. Simply place them in a basket and hang them off the jetty or post making sure they do not touch the bottom.
This process ensures the oysters are clean to eat and have not been effected by bird droppings etc.
Once this has been achieved the oysters are clean and healthy to eat.
However, for reassurance and confidence in eating the oysters Zapco recommends you contact your local marine authorities prior to eating oystesr to make sure your oysters are safe to consume