What a way to kick off 2023! Volunteers from Mud Hole Custom Tackle joined forces with Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) Florida and the University of Central Florida for a day of hands-on, dirty work - all in an effort to restore the health of the Indian River Lagoon. To read the official press release, click here.
Restoring Oyster Populations
As natural filters for the aquatic ecosystem, oysters play a vital role in maintaining water quality and are a key determinant of the health of our fisheries. The Indian River Lagoon, covering 2,284 square miles along Central Florida's east coast, is one of the state's most important and unique ecosystems, hosting a wide variety of native species and serving as a nursery of sorts for many fish that live in the Atlantic Ocean. Restoring the health of the oyster population is an important step in restoring the health of the entire lagoon.
Volunteers Step Up & Get Dirty
Volunteers from almost every Mud Hole department joined a number of environmentally conscious UCF students and CCA Florida at the University of Florida Biology Field Research Center to create "oyster rings" as part of the ongoing oyster restoration effort. The oyster rings are constructed from hemp burlap and quick drying cement, which is one of the most environmentally friendly methods of supporting habitat restoration.
From cutting the hemp into strands, to mixing the quick drying cement, to soaking and forming the rings, over 50 volunteers worked like a well-oiled machine throughout the day. According to UCF's Dr. Linda Walters, the team was able to construct 370 oyster rings, each of which will support an average of 160 oysters. The day's efforts will produce almost 60,000 oysters over a two-year period.
In Mud Hole's Back Yard
Mud Hole Custom Tackle is headquartered in Oviedo, less than 30 miles from Florida's Indian River Lagoon. When not supporting customers or building custom fishing rods themselves, many Mud Hole team members regularly fish the lagoon, with some even captaining charters for redfish, speckled trout, black drum, and more. So, gaining volunteers for the oyster ring initiative at UCF was a breeze, as the Indian River Lagoon is so important to the team.
Mud Hole & CCA Florida
As a proud partner with CCA Florida, the Mud Hole team was honored to take part in this small part of the overall effort to support and restore the health of Indian River Lagoon. Mud Hole and CCA continue to find new ways to make an impact and support our environment through this partnership. In the next phase of the oyster restoration program, the cured oyster rings will be strategically deployed in the lagoon to begin the process of reestablishing oyster populations. Mud Hole is "on call" and looks forward to stepping up and getting dirty again!