TEXAS – The Texas commercial and recreational oyster season opens Nov. 1, 2018 and closes April 30, 2019. However, nine areas will remain closed despite the opening of the season.
The following shellfish harvesting areas will be closed for the harvest of oysters beginning Nov. 1, 2018.
TX – 1
TX – 4
Matagorda (East) and Lavaca Bay
TX – 11
TX – 12
TX – 16
TX – 18
TX – 21
San Antonio Bay
TX – 26
TX – 27
These closings are based on samples collected by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) showing low abundance of legal-sized oysters. Chapter 76, Parks and Wildlife Code, and the Oyster Management Proclamation, Section 58.21(c)(1), allows for the emergency closure of an area to oyster harvest when it can be shown that the area has been overworked or is to be reseeded.
TPWD and the Oyster Advisory Workgroup, a group of Texas commercial oyster fishermen and dealers, have established criteria based on the abundance of legal-sized oysters (greater than 3 inches) and the percentage of small oysters (2-2.9 inches) for determining when an area should be closed.
“Sampling results indicate the number of legal oysters is very limited in these areas,” says TPWD’s Coastal Fisheries Deputy Director Lance Robinson. “This closure is designed to provide some protection to undersize oysters so they can reach legal sizes. The areas will be closely monitored by TPWD and will reopen when criteria thresholds are met.”
A map showing the areas can be found on the Department of State Health Services website.