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Season 5 Episode #504

Oystermen An Oregon Experience, The Oystermen

Broadcasts: June 17, 10:30 p.m. [OPB TV], June 19, 3:30 a.m. [OPB TV], May 19, 9:30 p.m. [OPB TV], May 21, 2:30 a.m. [OPB TV], January 5, 9:30 p.m. [OPB TV], January 7, 2:30 a.m. [OPB TV], April 18, 9:30 p.m. [OPB TV], April 20, 2:30 a.m. [OPB TV]


The Pacific Northwest produces some of the finest-quality oysters in the world. The industry dates back to the California gold rush. And the story has taken some dramatic dips and turns over the years.

Segments in this Episode

Oregon Experience

Oregon Experience Reveals The Lives Of The Oystermen

OPB | April 18, 2011 9 p.m.

Oysters are unusual little creatures, and they've played a distinctive role in Pacific Northwest history. As Euro-Americans settled this region, the native oyster became one of the first natural resources to be exploited on a large scale — and one of the first to be depleted. The oyster business spawned the creation of several coastal communities and precipitated the demise of a vast Indian reservation. Yet the oysters themselves and the colorful oystermen who farm them have contributed many unacknowledged environmental benefits, as well.

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Funding Provided By: Arlene Schnitzer and Jordan Schnitzer, Robert D. and Marcia H. Randall Charitable Trust, Oregon Cultural Trust, Clark Foundation

OREGON EXPERIENCE is a co-production of Oregon Public Broadcasting and the Oregon Historical Society.