AUSTIN – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is closing TX-1, TX-5 and TX-7 in Galveston Bay and TX-24 in Espiritu Santo Bay to commercial and recreational oyster harvest beginning at 12:01 a.m. Monday, Dec. 13, 2021.
This closing is based on samples recently collected by TPWD showing low abundance of legal-sized oysters. TPWD has worked with the oyster industry to develop criteria for closing areas to harvest. The criteria includes parameters for oysters when they fall below certain thresholds based on the abundance of legal-sized oysters (3 inches or greater) and the percentage of small oysters (2-2.9 inches).
“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.”
As of Monday Dec. 13, these areas will be closed to oyster harvest on the Texas coast:
- Galveston Bay – TX-1, TX-4, TX-5, TX-6, TX-7
- Matagorda Bay – TX-12, TX-13, TX-15, TX-16, TX-18, TX-19, TX-20, TX-21
- San Antonio Bay – TX-24, TX-26, TX-27
A map showing each of these areas can be found on the Department of State Health Services website.