Native oysters were once abundant in three of Oregon’s estuaries. Netarts and Yaquina Bays were heavily fished and depleted in the late 1800s. Coos Bay populations were historically very high also, but were absent upon European settlement.
Populations in these three bays are currently recovering; thanks in large part to the increased care communities have given to their estuaries in recent years. Additional species recovery aid has come from careful restoration projects and educational efforts undertaken by groups such as The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Confederated Tribes of Siletz, and South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve.
Shell loving oysters
Native oysters adhere to rocks, shells, and other hard substrates. Their former species name "conchaphila" translates from Latin to "shell loving". This name alludes to the fact that past generations of oysters can provide habitat to future generations, in this way they are excellent reef builders. Oyster beds provide excellent estuarine habitat structure for other fish and invertebrates.