AUSTIN – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is closing TX-1, TX-5, TX-6, TX-7 in Galveston Bay to commercial and recreational oyster harvest beginning at 12:01 a.m. Jan. 16, 2021.
This closing is based on samples recently collected by TPWD showing low abundance of legal-sized oysters. Texas Parks and Wildlife has worked with the industry to develop criteria for closing areas when they fall below certain thresholds 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 Galveston Bay Ecosystem Team Lead Christine Jensen. “This closure is designed to provide some protection to undersize oysters so they can reach legal size. These areas will continue to be monitored by TPWD and will reopen when criteria thresholds are met.”
A map showing the area can be found on the Department of State Health Services website https://www.dshs.texas.gov/seafood/shellfish-harvest-maps.aspx.