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Eating "Between" Seasons on PEI

  • kayu Jun 8, 2009 05:17 PM
  • 7

I'm planning a trip on the last weekend of July and would desperately like to gorge on oysters and mussels. However, as I understand it, there are two fishing seasons on PEI: April 30 – June 30, and August 10 – October 10. Source: http://www.fallflavours.ca/media-and-...

What happens between these dates? Are oysters and mussels still readily available at restaurants and seafood suppliers? If so, are they stockpiled (with detrimental consequences for freshness/taste)?

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  1. It is my understanding that for mussels, oysters, and also clams, there is no season per se. Rather, it is more a size issue. The seasons referred to in the link are for lobster fishing.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bigsnow

      My misreading of that webpage lead me to look further, and according to the PEI International Shellfish Festival's "Shellfish 101": http://www.peishellfish.com/shellfish...

      "Like lobster fishing, there are two seasons for harvesting oysters; in the spring from May 1 – July 15 and in the fall from September 15 – November 30."

      Perhaps the surfeit of oysters caught during the first season bridges the gap between the seasons? I think this might call for an enquiry or two with one of the local restaurants.

    2. Hi Kayu
      Let me just lay all those fears to rest. Although as another poster mentioned, there are seasons for the catching of seafood, the seasons are wide open for enjoying. You will find a plethora of Lobster, mussels and some of the very best oysters on earth here. We also have a new Crab fishery which is bringing us some delectable results. Make sure to try one of the famous Lobster suppers and pick up a few dozen oysters for slurping on the beach.
      Have a great Time!! July is peak season.
      Helen

      1. If yo have a chance, stop at the Raspberry point harvesting/ packing store....It's literally just a small place on the water...its where they sort and pack etc....Get the oysters there, fresh that day out of the water.....Yummmmmy!
        We are always on PEI for 2-3 weeks at the beginning of August, and have never had ANY trouble gettting any seafood we were looking for. And it is always wonderful....Because we are close to Charlottetown, we go to the Water Prince Corner Shop. The owner, Shane, gets in fresh halibut, lobster, salmon, haddock, mussels, clams, you name it, and he'll get it....Fresh!
        Enjoy!

        3 Replies
        1. re: troutpoint

          Thanks lovetocook and troutpoint! I am now feeling more reassured now about my oyster feasting possibilities. FYI, I had reached out to Dayboat restaurant, but haven't heard back from them yet...

          Anyhow, other than the Raspberry Point store (which is run by the PEI Oyster Co. right?) and Howard's Cove Shellfish (mentioned in Frank Bruni's 2007 article on PEI), are there any other standout oyster farms/harvesters which are you might recommend for bivalve pilgrims looking to pick up oysters at their source?

          Thanks also for the Water Prince Corner Shop recommendation. It sounds great -- I'll definitely check it out!

          1. re: kayu

            Flex Mussels (On the waterfront, attached to Delta on waterside) has a good selection. (It's owned by same people as Dayboat- and fwiw- I had the same experience with Dayboat, no answer regarding reservation via email, then a call on the day of at 4pm to confirm-we'd booked somewhere else cause we had guests)
            also, Claddaugh Oyster house on Sdyney St. has a great selection.
            http://www.claddaghoysterhouse.com/

            I found these two to be better than Simms Oyster bar. (But that's just me)

            1. re: kayu

              Colville Bay oysters too....