AUSTIN — The Gulf of Mexico commercial shrimp season for both Texas and federal waters will close 30 minutes after sunset on May 15 until a still-to-be determined time in July.
The closing date is based on samples collected by the Coastal Fisheries Division of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department using trawl, bag seine and other information gathered from the shrimping industry.
Data collected regarding TPWD bag seine catch rates of brown shrimp, mean lengths of shrimp in April 2014, percent of samples containing shrimp, and periods of maximum nocturnal ebb tidal flow indicate a May 15 closing date is appropriate. Typically, once the shrimp reach about 3 1/2 inches long, they begin their migration to the gulf.
“The purpose of moving the closure date this year is tied to when the shrimp are projected to leave the bays,” says TPWD’s coastal fisheries science director Mark Fisher. “Due to cooler spring temperatures and higher salinities, shrimp growth rates appear to be slower this spring.”