North Suffolk waterman Robbie Johnson is a very smart man, warns of oyster ‘drought’

“Really what we did was cut the fresh water off when the oysters themselves were in a period when they were really stressed,” Johnson said. “The oyster industry in the state of Virginia … has been somewhat on the slide since then.”Many in the scientific community who once blamed the decline on over-fishing by men like Johnson are beginning to see things differently after weather events in 1999 laid the groundwork for a recent resurgence, he said.

Hurricanes Dennis and Floyd broke dams and brought a lot of fresh water back into the system, he said.“Oysters started making a comeback and are still doing OK today,” he said, adding that oyster disease MXS, first seen in Virginia in 1959, was also dealt a blow.. Read more