, 2014

Lancaster officials permit year-round
oyster farming operation at Palmer

by Audrey Thomasson

PALMER—Oyster farming is making a comeback on traditional oyster and crabbing sites near Windmill Point.

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In the latest venture, Michael Sledd of Sledd Oyster Company LLC, won approval from the Lancaster board of supervisors last week to operate a year-round oyster aquaculture business.

The site of Sledd’s oyster farm at 261 Osprey Lane in Palmer was once home to an oyster and crab house that was torn down years ago, according to county land use director Don Gill.

Sledd will be raising oysters in controlled conditions in floating cages at his dock at the mouth of Antipoison Creek and Little Bay and on oyster grounds leased from the Commonwealth.

When the oysters reach market size in 18 to 24 months, they will be harvested, washed, graded, bagged and tagged for delivery to market, Gill reported.

Sledd’s neighbors said they supported the operation.

Oyster farming is encouraged by the state and environmentalists because oysters are the primary filtration system to clean contaminates from the water. One mature oyster can clear 50 gallons of water in a day.

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