TIDELINES: Texas: Oyster Restoration Areas Receive Temporary Protection

By September 27, 2021Uncategorized

Oyster Restoration Areas Receive Temporary Protection

Photo Courtesy of Texas Parks and Wildlife

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission voted to temporarily prohibit oyster harvesting for two years from 199 acres of restored oyster reefs in Galveston and Matagorda Bays. The temporary closures will allow for the planting of oyster cultch to repopulate in those areas and provide enough time for those oysters to reach legal size for harvest. Oyster cultch is the material to which oyster spat (juvenile oysters) attach, creating an oyster reef.

Due to the decline of oyster reefs from overharvesting and other environmental reasons, the 85th Texas Legislature passed House Bill 51 in 2017. CCA Texas advocated strongly for this bill, which ultimately included language that required certified oyster dealers to return TPWD-approved cultch materials in an amount equal to 30 percent of the total volume of oysters purchased in the previous license year. A portion of ongoing restoration efforts are a direct result of that legislation.

CCA Texas supports all efforts to protect these restored reefs and will be working with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to increase restoration efforts and increase sustainability of the oyster fishery.

Kevin Hickson

Author Kevin Hickson

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