PORT LAVACA - When Curtis Miller, 52, of Port Lavaca, was 12, he would walk along Lavaca Bay picking up oysters to bring home to his family.
He didn't have an oyster knife - a dull, short-bladed knife used to pry open oyster shells. Instead, he used whatever household knife he could find in the kitchen.
"You may have heard the phrase, 'The world is your oyster,'" Miller said. "Well, oyster is my world."
His uncle started Miller's Seafood, a wholesale and retail oyster house, about 40 years ago. Miller and his wife, Lisa Miller, 50, of Port Lavaca, took over the business in 1989.
In a good season, Miller's company sends three to four 18-wheelers per day all across the country with oysters from Lavaca and San Antonio bays.
But this season, he said, the ongoing drought is causing a smaller harvest. Since Nov. 1, when the oyster season opened, Miller's Seafood has sent out two trucks per day, a 50 percent drop in production from an average year.
"A lot of the oysters are dead," Miller said. "We did get some rain later this summer, but it might have been too little too late for a lot of the oysters."