Oysters may be divided into several groups, with true oysters leading the pack in familiarity. They are an Intertidal Beach Cultured Oyster and have been farmed in Puget Sound since 1878. rharbo@shaw.ca I have long had an interest in old bottles and have found many while diving along the B.C. Olympia Oysters were listed as a species of special concern in 2003 and are blue-listed by the Province of British Columbia. By 1960, overharvesting had nearly exterminated native oyster beds in Willapa and Samish Olympia Oysters are a Pacific Northwest oyster and are one of the oyster appellations from South Puget Sound in Washington State. The total amount of favorable habitat on much of the The Olympia oyster has declined precipitously on the Pacific coast and community-based oyster restoration efforts are underway in many Pacific The native Olympia oyster, Ostrea lurida, was once abundant in many US Pacific Northwest (PNW) estuaries, but was decimated by human activity in the late nineteenth early to twentieth centuries. Researchers studied two species of ecologically and commercially valuable oysters found throughout Puget Sound: the Olympia oyster and the Pacific oyster. We do so by spreading Pacific oyster shell in the lower intertidal area to provide structure for natural settlement of larval Olympia oysters and to re-establish oyster bed habitat. The little Kumamoto oyster in the middle is a West Coast product. Olys all share an unmistakable sweet, metallic, celery-salt flavor. Olympias make even an extra-small Pacific look like a giant: The shell is circular and somewhat smooth. Taste profile - ocean sea salt, light sweet cream, … Despite subsequent water quality improvements, the damage to native oyster stocks had been done. Ostrea lurida, common name the Olympia oyster, after Olympia, Washington in the Puget Sound area, is a species of edible oyster, a marine bivalve mollusk in the family Ostreidae.This species occurs on the northern Pacific coast of North America.Over the years the role of this edible species of oyster has been partly displaced by the cultivation of non-native edible oyster species. In 1889 the Washington Territorial Legislature dubbed these oysters the “Olympia” oyster because they were so taken with it. Pacific oysters release eggs and sperm into the water and then fertilization occurs. In the UK you can only get 2 types of oysters; the Native, and the Pacific/Gigas (photo below).On our last trip to the Company Shed, we were unable to sample the delights of the Native oyster as it was summer, this year we returned when the Native oysters were in season. The Olympia oyster, on the other hand, is interesting because it broods the larvae, meaning the female actually pulls the sperm in from the water and fertilization occurs internally. Oyster farming is an aquaculture (or mariculture) practice in which oysters are bred and raised mainly for their pearls, shells and inner organ tissue, which is eaten.Oyster farming was practiced by the ancient Romans as early as the 1st century BC on the Italian peninsula and later in Britain for export to Rome. The Olympia oyster is a small oyster compared to commercial species which can be twice as long. Instead, we’ll dissect two of our favorite oyster groups: true oyster vs. pearl oyster. coast. Olympia oysters are typically 2.4 to 3.1 inches (6 to 8 cm) in length and 1.6 to 2.4 inches (4-6 cm) in width. It is considered a desirable specialty oyster. It grows quickly and easily; has elegant, ruffled shells with streaks of pink and purple amid the white and green; and tends to be sweeter and less briny than the Eastern oyster, with a flavor like cucumber and melon rind. Our native Olympia Oyster is a smaller, slower-growing oyster than the Pacific Oyster and it is not suited for farming, except for a limited specialty market. For thousands of years the Olympia oyster thrived in many tidal channels, estuaries, bays, and sounds of the eastern Pacific Ocean, from Southeast Alaska to Baja California. Pacific oyster (left) vs. Olympia oyster (right) The following passage and nineteenth-century recipes appear in Appendix II of A Trip and a Tumble, along with recipes for … Very rare with only a couple of growers. Henderson Bay, WA. The Olympia oyster (Ostrea lurida Carpenter 1864) is Washington's only native oyster.It currently exists throughout almost the entirety of its historic (circa 1850) range in Puget Sound, but its overall overall abundance has diminished since that time. Spawning takes place between May and August, when the water reaches about 57.2 degrees F (14 degrees C). The valves of this oyster are different from side to side (top to bottom). Olympia Oyster. All Olys are tiny—it takes 250 shucked meats to fill a pint—but they pack more flavor and interest than a full-sized Pacific or Eastern oyster. “Olympia oysters are not the biggest movers in this restaurant,” executive chef Sandy Ingber says. Olympia kept its political seat, “and the oyster dinners were given the credit,” Steele wrote. Vintage Olympia and Pacific Oyster Bottles and Lids by Rick Harbo, Nanaimo, B.C. This oyster has seen a great comeback over the last decade from restorative efforts. We've also included an "oyster 101" detailing what to expect when ordering and eating oysters, plus simple oyster sauce recipes to pair with either variety. Following dramatic declines in the late 1800s and early 1900s, this species is now the focus of renewed restoration efforts. The bigger, heartier, and meatier Pacific oyster, introduced from Japan in the 1950s, has since taken over as the dominant oyster in Puget Sound. This oyster is a hermaphrodite. The Pacific oyster on the far right is the king of the West Coast. But by the 1920s, the Sound's Olympia oyster population began to decline due to a combination of pollution and overharvesting. The Great Pacific Oyster Trail In search of the elusive Olympia oyster, on the road from San Francisco to Seattle by Rachel Khong Jun 12, 2017, 8:28am EDT (Ellen M. Banner / The Seattle Times) The State of Washington is likely the largest producer in the world, although it originally hails from Japan. The Pacific oyster shell is sourced from oyster farmers in Washington, and then sluiced off … There in the muck, the tiny, tangy Olympia oyster -- the only oyster native to the West Coast and a species harvested nearly to extinction more than a century ago -- is slowly repopulating. Those from Totten are said to be more coppery, while those from Little Skookum are nutty and musky. 2009). Ostrea lurida, whose common name is the Olympia oyster, derives its name from Olympia, Washington, in the Puget Sound area. This local gem is the Olympia oyster (Ostrea lurida), the only oyster native to North America’s temperate West Coast. The lower (left) valve is deeply cupped while the upper (right) valve is flat and fits inside the edges of its lower valve. Diet. It's very small, seldom exceeding 1½ inches. After hearing so much about them, and how they were a gourmet delight, I was expecting great things from them. The Olympia oyster, Ostrea lurida Carpenter, was formerly widespread in many US Pacific coast estuaries. Length 6-9 cm. Read on to learn about how Atlantic oysters and Pacific oysters compare on taste, size, and nutrition. In the background are bags of seeded cultch — Pacific oyster shell with tiny Olympia oysters growing on it. Since 1989, the hatchery at Taylor Shellfish has grown billions and billions of oyster larvae. Reproduction. It is also one of the fastest-growing species, reaching sexual maturity in a year--a third of the time it takes for an Olympic oyster to achieve this feat. The Gold Rush at the turn of the century almost completely depleted the stock of this native oyster. Pacific Oyster (Crassostrea gigas) Several times the size of the easter oyster, the Pacific or Japanese oyster is the giant of Northwest shellfish beds. The babies were produced in a hatchery. Native to the Pacific Coast, the Olympia oyster is found primarily in the Pacific Northwest around Washington's Puget Sound. The last time I ate at the Oyster Bar, though, they weren’t available. The Olympia oyster, which is smaller than the commercially grown Pacific oyster, is prized for its distinctive flavor. Once present in large beds along our coast, populations of this small filtration powerhouse were decimated from overharvest, pollution and habitat degradation. Olympia oysters filter the water for phytoplankton. The only oyster native to the North America Pacific: BC to California. Environmental biologist Neil Harrington holds up an Olympia oyster. Its slow growth produces a deeply complex and unique flavor profile that has been elusive to us for too long. This family, called Ostreidae, include the scrumptious eastern oyster, Pacific oyster, and Olympia oyster. The Olympia might be the tiniest oyster known to man, but it's our oyster -- the only oyster native to the Pacific Northwest -- or all of the West Coast of the U.S., for that matter. found 63 papers concerning Olympia oysters, vs. 2848 regarding Eastern oysters, highlighting the dramatic differ-ence in scientific attention received by these oyster species (Trimble et al. Although oyster larvae are sensitive to acidifying oceans, adult oysters commonly occur in intertidal areas and estuaries where they must endure constantly fluctuating water conditions. The Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) is native to Japan’s Pacific coast. I was excited when I tracked down some old Olympia oyster bottles recovered in the 1970’s from an oyster shell heap of the Ladysmith Oyster East Coast vs. West Coast Oysters - … Olympia oyster growers in southern Puget Sound had already switched over to cultivating the non-native Pacific oyster. 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