How We Grow Oysters

Calvert County Public Schools Field Trip CBOCS

How CBOCS make a impact:

Spat (baby oysters) and cages are delivered in late August or September, are placed under Fishing Creek boardwalk, or under participant's private piers.  After growing for 9-10 months the yearling oysters are ready to be planted on local oyster reefs by CBOCS participants, and then the cycle begins anew. 

Time Commitment of our Volunteers:  Approximately two half-days during summer, by all CBOCS participants, to: 1) help refill oyster gardens with new spat on shell, and 2) remove yearling oysters from cages and plant them on local reefs.  We'll also need help in early spring and late fall to help weatherize the BOCSes under the boardwalk.  There are other opportunities to help out as well throughout the year by serving on a CBOCS committee. 

Types of Oyster Cages -- There are two types of cages that are used by CBOCS participants to grow oysters.  

They are: 

Buoyant Oyster Cultivation System (BOCS)

  • Only BOCS may be used along Fishing Creek boardwalk.
  • BOCS may be used along private piers as well.
  • BOCS are not suitable for open Bay piers due to wave action.

Cost: $500, plus $30 tax. The $500 is eligible for full tax credit on Maryland taxes. After the tax credit the real cost to you is $30.  MD tax credit form

MGO oyster cage (rectangular, 12”x12”x18”) 

  • Suitable for use on private piers, not on Fishing Creek boardwalk
  • Suitable for open waters, such as Bay piers.
  • Cages must be manually shaken once per week to remove silt from spat. 

 Cost: free