APALACHICOLA, Fla. (AP) — State wildlife officials have shortened the summer commercial oyster harvest in Apalachicola Bay.
From June 1 through August 31, commercial harvests on the bay's summer oyster areas will be closed Fridays and Saturdays.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says oyster populations in the bay in Florida's Big Bend have suffered over the last few years from a lack of freshwater flow.
According to the conservation commission, 92 percent of Florida's oysters and 8 percent of oysters nationwide are brought to market from Apalachicola Bay.
Officials say the temporary closures will help oyster restoration efforts. Other conservation projects include adding shells to existing oyster reefs, which gives juvenile oysters a solid base.
Active oyster leases and recreational harvests are not affected. Winter oyster areas open for harvest Aug. 31.