The Sydney Rock Oyster is a native species to Pambula Lake. They are a bi-valve mollusc that usually begin life as a male and mature into a female. During the warmer months of the year the oysters spawn and form a small organism that is carried on the tide for a number of weeks before it is time to settle. Traditionally this spat would settle on rocks along the lake foreshore. We put out catch structures, called slats, to collect the spat. The young oysters are removed from the slats after approximately 6 months. Once the oysters are removed from the slats they will be put into cylinders or baskets to continue growing. The young oysters do not re-attach, but move around inside the vessels with tidal and wind activity.
At this stage the young oysters require constant management and attention to keep them growing to their full potential. The oysters are growing very fast and we bring them in every couple of months to grade them into similar size groups and expand them so there is enough room to grow. As the oysters develop we put them into different growing structures including floating baskets and trays.
We put our 1 to 2 year old oysters in floating baskets so they are constantly in the feeding column. We then transfer them to trays for the final year of growth to finish the oysters in the intertidal zone, which strengthens their abductor muscles and creates the long shelf life for which Sydney Rock Oysters are famous.
Oysters are 3 to 3½ years old by the time they are ready to harvest. They are then cleaned, and graded by shell size and weight. They are then ready for processing or sale as a live product.
Our oysters rely on excellent water quality. The oyster farmers of Pambula Lake conduct extensive water quality monitoring and shellfish testing. This enables us to provide the highest quality product and also evaluate the health of the environment in which they are grown. For the continued success of the oyster industry we all need to keep our waterways healthy.
Broadwater Oysters have been growing and processing the magnificent Pambula Lake oysters for over 10 years. We supply these as either opened, unopened and bottled oysters. You can find us halfway between Eden and Pambula, on the foreshore of Pambula Lake.