Baymen: Oyster season hampered by low salt levels in Mecox Bay

Baymen on the South Shore say they are having a rough oyster season due to low salt levels in Mecox Bay. In a good season,

In a good season, Will Caldwell says he can make half his yearly income pulling oysters from the bay during the December to May season. He says the low salt levels are making the shellfish unmarketable.

In a good season, Will Caldwell says he can make half his yearly income pulling oysters from the bay during the December to May season. He says the low salt levels are making the shellfish unmarketable. (3/17/17)

SOUTHAMPTON - Baymen on the South Shore say they are having a rough oyster season due to low salt levels in Mecox Bay.

In a good season, Will Caldwell says he can make half his yearly income pulling oysters from the bay during the December to May season. He says the low salt levels are making the shellfish unmarketable.

One way to help solve the problem is opening a thin strip of sand or inlet that separates the bay from the ocean to allow saltwater and shellfish in.

Southampton trustees control the opening and closing of the inlet. It is currently closed.

Trustees say it costs thousands of dollars to open it and there's no guarantee that it will stay open.

"You can have all the great intentions of taking actions of opening and closing, and Mother Nature is going to dictate the terms of how well that's going to go," says Village Trustee Scott Horowitz.

Horowitz says the town did try to open the "Mecox cut" three times, but weather conditions closed it.

Caldwell says the inlet was open late into the season. He believes complaints about beach erosion from wealthy residents who live on the water is the reason why.

Horowitz says the town is working with environmental groups to find the best solution for the environment, fishermen and residents. He wouldn't say when the inlet might be opened again.

Some residents asked the town for a two-week limit for the inlet opening. Fishermen say that's not long enough. Trustees are currently working on a plan on when to open and close it.

 

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