Galveston Bay has been a hub for shrimpers, fishermen and oyster harvesters for decades. The area accounts for an estimated income of $1 billion per year, which is one-third of the state’s commercial fishing revenue.

The bay is also the only place in Texas where state-issued leases for the commercial harvesting of oysters have been issued. While the most of the reefs are open to the public, a few private leases control 2,321 acres of them.

Oystermen must invest hundreds of thousands of dollars to run their businesses every year, from purchasing and maintaining boats and equipment, paying crew members, harvesting in the six-month window of the season and participating in producing cultch, which is fossilized shell and coral that provides points of attachment for the oysters on the reefs, to maintain the oyster population.

Oysters need fresh water to thrive. The past seven years have produced draught conditions that have drastically reduced the oyster population on the reefs. The recent rains were good news for the oyster industry, and Governor Abbott recently added Galveston County to his list for disaster relief after Tropical Storm Bill moved through on June 15.

The lack of fresh water and the havoc caused by the tropical storm are not the only factors that have the Galveston Bay oyster industry stirred up, however.

Read the full story at the Pasadena Citizen >>

Read more about oysters >>

Have you listened to this article via the audio player?

If so, send us your feedback around what we can do to improve this feature or further develop it. If not, check it out and let us know what you think via email or on social media.

A collection of stories from guest authors.

Join the Conversation