TPW Commission Adopts New Rules for Statewide Oyster Fishery

AUSTIN — (RealEstateRama) — The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission today adopted new regulations for the statewide oyster fishery that reduce commercial possession limits and establish additional harvest restrictions. The new rules affect both the recreational and commercial harvest of oysters.

The new rules reduce the commercial possession limit of oysters from 50 sacks to 40 sacks per day and close Sunday to the commercial and recreational harvest of oysters from Nov. 1 to April 30 every year.

The commission also extended the oyster harvest closure at Half-Moon Reef in Matagorda Bay to Nov. 1, 2018 and closed approximately 28 acres of public oyster reefs in the Galveston Bay area for restoration. These closed areas include reefs in the Galveston Bay Conditionally Approved Area TX-6 and the Galveston Bay Approved Area TX-7.

“The goals of these rule changes are to promote efficiency in utilizing oyster resources and will provide a more stable price structure for commercially harvested oysters,” says Lance Robinson, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department coastal fisheries division deputy director.

The adoption of these amendments also means that oyster harvest may resume in other previously closed reefs in Galveston Bay provided other oyster resources in the area exceed closure thresholds. Decisions on the reopening of these areas will be made prior to Nov. 1, 2016.

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