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Texas Parks and Wildlife Needs Our Help: Proposed Oyster Harvesting Amendment

By August 11, 2021 January 6th, 2022 News, Oysters, Uncategorized

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) needs our help!

They are seeking public input on a proposed amendment to temporarily prohibit oyster harvesting for two years from 199 acres of restored oyster reefs.

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. This bill included language that required certified oyster dealers return TPWD-approved cultch materials in an amount equal to 30% 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 encourages you to take a moment to read the proposal and provide your own comments.

You can find the link to the proposal by clicking here.

Additionally, there is an upcoming opportunity to address the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (TPWC) in person. On August 25th at 2PM, the TPWC will be conducting their annual public hearing to receive input from partners, stakeholders, and constituents concerning any issues related to TPWD policies, goals, programs, and responsibilities. The meeting will be held at the TPWD Headquarters, 4200 Smith School Road Austin, Texas 78744 in the Commission Hearing Room and each speaker will be allowed 2 minutes to address the Commission.

Your voice matters and we appreciate your ongoing individual efforts to conserve and enhance our shared Texas coastal resources.

– Shane Bonnot, CCA Texas, Advocacy Director