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St. George Island Oyster Spat Festival

Submitted by on September 12, 2009 – 4:40 pmNo Comment

Oyster Spat FestivalWhat is an oyster spat, you may ask. Seasoned Road Trip Foodies know it’s a baby oyster. Now for a short shellfish lesson: An oyster may spawn as either a male or a female, depending upon the salt content and temperature of the water. Eggs, which look like a milky cloud, are normally released on an ebbing tide. An oyster sheds and average of one million eggs — on which small fish feed. The fertilized eggs float 7 to 18 days before settling (if they are not eaten by a predator first). In spite of its miniscule size, each larva has a tiny shell complete with muscle and a foot. Once its swimming stage is over, the larva extends its foot, settles on any solid object it can find, and cements itself into place. At this stage it is known as an oyster spat. Once they are anchored into place, an oyster spat will grow its shells.

Now that you’re educated, you’re ready to head for the Fourth Annual St. George Island Oyster Spat Festival, to be held October 9 and 10, 2009, on the beach on the Florida panhandle island (it’s in Franklin County, south and east of Tallahassee — you get there from the mainland on the third longest bridge in Florida).

If you want to know the whole schedule, check the website or call 850:654-8678. Definitely on the docket are a parade, a treasure hunt, live music and a 5K race — but we know you’ll go for the oysters.

St. George area residents are proud of their long-standing oystering, fishing and shrimping traditions, and with 90% of Florida oysters coming from the Apalachicola Bay, this is the place to try ’em, right there on the beach.

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