Special to The Leader
The Gulf of Mexico commercial shrimp season for both state and federal waters will open 30 minutes after sunset Thursday, July 15.
The opening date is based on an evaluation of the biological, social and economic information to maximize the benefits to the industry and the public.
In making its determination, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Coastal Fisheries Division used the best available scientific information including samples collected by using trawls and bag seines in TPWD routine data collection.
The purpose of the closed Gulf season is to protect brown shrimp during their major period of emigration from the bays to the Gulf of Mexico until they reach a larger, more valuable size before harvest and to prevent waste caused by the discarding of smaller individuals.
Federal waters (from 9 to 200 nautical miles offshore) will open at the same time that state waters will open. The National Marine Fisheries Service chose to adopt rules compatible with those adopted by Texas.
TPWD biologists are aware of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and its potential impact on shrimping and fishing in Texas waters. The department is continuing to monitor the situation and will work with partner agencies to take action if needed to manage fisheries and safeguard public health.