Nature

Texas Oyster Populations Have Reached a Low Point

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Chron.com reports that laws surrounding recreationally collecting oysters by hand have changed significantly along with lowering populations due to the impact of weather events such as cold fronts and hurricanes. “It will be hard, if not impossible, to coon oysters from Texas bay waters this year and certainly for many years to come,” the news writes.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website explains that oyster season in Texas runs from November 1 to April 30, but they’ve had to make recent updates to the rules and allowed bodies of water. Lance Robinson, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Coastal Fisheries Deputy Division Director, said, “The goals of these rule changes are to aid in the recovery of oyster resources in Texas’ bay systems, promote efficiency in utilizing oyster resources and provide a more stable price structure for commercially-harvested oysters.”

Chron.com explains that “…harvesting oysters within 300 feet of a shoreline – mainland or island – is prohibited.” This means those who like to gather oysters recreationally will most likely be unable to do so.

The oyster population first took a dive after hurricane Ike, and then, coastal Texas endured a drought. Of course, the extent of the damage from Harvey is currently unknown, but time will tell how oyster laws will need to be adjusted in the upcoming years.