That is the word from almost everyone in the Chesapeake Bay shucked oyster gallon business these days, including our very own Jason Ruth at Harris Seafood company in Grasonville, Maryland.
With oyster spawning season ending in July and near-record high water temperatures in the bay, oysters are stressed, and the “meats” inside the oysters are small; hence very few, if any, are “counts”. That situation will change on October 1, starting with the local wild oyster season on Maryland’s public oyster bars. The Bay’s water will be much cooler (over 10 degrees cooler than today), and the oysters will start to “fatten up” as they do each winter. In addition, the sheer volume of oysters landed beginning in October will allow more gallons of counts to become available. The percentage of counts versus selects will increase again as the water cools further during November and December.