Commercial Season for King Mackerel in Louisiana Waters is Open

The commercial season for king mackerel opened on May 11, 2017 in Louisiana waters, previously closed on January 21,  until the established quota is reached or projected to be reached. 

 

The re-opening was made based on rule changes for the Gulf of Mexico that increased current quotas.  The increase in quotas allows for additional harvest during the 2016 / 2017 commercial season. 

 

Each year, a commercial quota is established for Gulf of Mexico group king mackerel by NOAA Fisheries based on recommendations by the Gulf and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils. Based upon the new quota adjustments, the Western Gulf of Mexico quota increased to 1.1 million pounds, leaving an additional 65,000 pounds available for harvest.

 

For more information, contact Jason Adriance at 504.284.2032 or jadriance@wlf.la.gov.

Louisiana Safe Boating Week Set For May 20-26

Boats sail Scene

By Julie Lively

The state of Louisiana has issued a proclamation that recognizes May 20-26 as “Safe Boating Week” in Louisiana, which signifies the beginning of the spring and summer boating season.

 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will again be reminding all boaters to be safe, responsible and knowledgeable while on the water during this safe boating week.  Safe Boating Week is a time for all boaters to inspect their vessels to ensure that all required safety equipment is on board and that vessels are in good working condition.

 

LDWF Enforcement Division agents will be out in full force as always during the week to perform boating safety checks and driving or operating a vessel while intoxicated (DWI) patrols.

 

Each vessel should have enough personal flotation devices (PFD) on board for all occupants and a sober operator.  LDWF regulations also state that anyone 16 years of age and younger must wear a PFD while underway in vessels less than 26 foot long.  For more boating and PFD regulations, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating.

 

Alcohol use is one of the leading causes of boating crash incidents and fatalities on the water.  Alcohol consumption impairs a boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time.  The penalties for DWI on the water are the same as on the road.  Anyone cited for a DWI on the water or on the road will lose his or her driver’s license and boating privileges for the specified time ordered by the judge in the case.

 

LDWF also wants to remind anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 that they are required to successfully complete a National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) boating education course to operate a motorboat over 10 horsepower.  LDWF offers these classes free of charge statewide.

 

For a list of courses, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/courses.  Since the safe boating course’s inception in 2003, over 100,000 boaters have been certified in Louisiana.

 

In 2016 Louisiana reported 24 boating fatalities.  So far in 2017 Louisiana has reported nine fatalities.

Louisiana Shrimp Watch- March 2017

Louisiana specific data portrayed in the graphics are selected from preliminary data posted by NOAA on their website. All data portrayed are subject to final revision and approval by NOAA.  Shrimp landings are ex-vessel prices, inclusive of all species harvested. Missing, inadequate or withheld reports are portrayed as “zero” in these graphics. Price graphics reflect central Gulf states only (Texas and Florida are reported independently). For more information, please refer to: www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/st1/market_news/index.html.

 

MonthPriceYearYTD

Gulf Council Hosts Webinar Public Hearings on Proposed Changes to Vermillion Snapper Management and Minimum Stock Size Threshold for Reef Fish Stocks

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will host public hearings via webinar to gather public comments on two issues. Reef Fish Amendment 44, which considers minimum stock size threshold for reef fish stocks; and Reef Fish Amendment 47, which considers modifying vermillion snapper annual catch limits and maximum sustainable yield proxies.

 

Public hearings begin at 6:00 p.m EST on the following dates:

 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Reef Fish Amendment 44 – Minimum Stock Size Threshold for Reef Fish Stocks

https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/369981646765939713

 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Reef Fish Amendment 47 – Vermillion Snapper ACLs and MSY Proxies https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/5395690967655721217

 

 

For draft documents and other learning materials, visit our scoping through implementation page: http://tinyurl.com/public-materials

 

 

You can also submit comments online:

Commercial Fishery For Large Coastal Sharks To Remain Closed In Louisiana Waters

Tiger shark

Credit: Duane Raver

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced the closure of the commercial fishery for large coastal sharks in Louisiana waters effective May 4, 2017 at 11:30 p.m. This closure is concurrent with the National Marine Fisheries Service’s closure of commercial fishing for large coastal sharks in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The season is currently closed in state waters, due to the annual seasonal closure of recreational and commercial shark harvest.  The season is scheduled to reopen in state and federal waters on January 1, 2018.

During the closed season, all commercial harvest, possession, purchase, exchange, barter, trade, sale or attempt to purchase, exchange, barter, trade or sell large coastal sharks or their fins is prohibited.

Vessels that have been issued or that possess a federal shark research permit may continue to operate under the conditions of that permit, which includes the presence of designated NOAA Fisheries observers aboard the vessel for the duration of the trip until the quota for the federal shark research fishery is achieved.

LDWF reminds all recreational anglers and commercial harvesters that Louisiana waters are closed for the harvest of all sharks from April through June. The season for the commercial harvest of small coastal sharks in Louisiana waters will resume on July 1, 2017, after the seasonal closure ends.

FB17-023 NOAA Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper Season

red snapper copy

Red Snapper. Illustration by Diane Rome Peebles

 

WHAT/WHEN:

The 2017 Gulf of Mexico federal red snapper recreational seasons open for the private angling and federally permitted for-hire components on June 1, 2017, at 12:01 a.m., local time.  The private angler component season will be 3 days and the federally permitted for-hire component season will be 49 days in federal waters.

 

Closing dates for each component are:

  • Private Anglers: June 4, 2017, at 12:01 a.m., local time.
  • Federally Permitted For-Hire Vessels: July 20, 2017, at 12:01 a.m., local time.

HOW THE SEASON LENGTHS WERE DETERMINED:

  • The red snapper total recreational quota is allocated 57.7% to the private angling component and 42.3% to the for-hire component.
  • In 2016, the total recreational quota was exceeded by 129,906 pounds.  The private angling quota was also exceeded.
  • The overage of the total recreational quota must be paid back by the private angling component because that component exceeded its quota.
  • After adjustment for the 2016 overage, the 2017 annual catch target for the private angling component is 3,004,075 pounds whole weight.  The 2017 annual catch target for the for-hire component is 2,278,000 pounds whole weight.
  • Catches in both state and federal waters are counted against the quota.  The number of days for each component to harvest its annual catch target was calculated using 2016 catch rates and accounting for the expected red snapper harvest during state seasons outside the federal season.  Private anglers are expected to harvest nearly 81% of the private angling quota during state seasons that range from 67 to 365 days.
  • Based on the 2017 catch targets and after accounting for landings during state seasons, the private angling season in federal waters can be 3 days and the for-hire season can be 49 days.
  • For information on red snapper recreational management in the Gulf of Mexico including how the season lengths were projected, go to: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_fisheries/red_snapper/index.html.

 

WHEN THE FEDERAL RED SNAPPER SEASON IS CLOSED:

  • Harvest or possession of red snapper in or from federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico is prohibited.
  • State water recreational red snapper seasons may differ from federal water seasons.  Please check with your local state’s rules and regulations.
  • Federally permitted for-hire vessels may not harvest and retain recreationally caught red snapper in state waters, even if state waters remain open after the federal water closure.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

Why are the private recreational red snapper seasons getting shorter when the population is getting larger?

  • To maintain and build on the progress made, NOAA Fisheries needed to set the federal recreational season lengths to keep fishing catches within their targets as mandated by the Magnuson Stevens Act and identified by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.
  • Catch rates are higher.
    • o   There are more red snapper and anglers are catching them faster, landing fish at two and a half times the rate they did in 2007.
    • o   Today’s red snapper are more than twice the size as in 2007, on average going from 3.3 pounds (2007) to 7.25 pounds (2016).
  • Quotas have been adjusted.
    • o   A court ruling required fishery managers to establish accountability measures to reduce the likelihood recreational fishermen will exceed their quota; a 20% recreational quota buffer was established.
    • o   If the annual quota is exceeded, any overage is deducted from the quota for the following fishing season.
  • Red snapper are easy to catch.
    • o   More artificial reefs are being placed closer to shore, aggregating fish and making them more accessible to private anglers.
    • o   Technology, such as fish finders and global positioning satellites – GPS, and artificial reefs that aggregate fish, make red snapper easier to find than in the past.
  • The average state season lengths have increased since 2012 (see Figure below).
    • o   NOAA Fisheries is responsible for ensuring the entire recreational harvest of red snapper, including harvest in state waters, does not exceed the recreational quota.
    • o   Therefore, if states establish a longer season for state waters than allowed in federal waters, the federal season must be adjusted to account for the additional harvest expected in state waters.
    • o   Private anglers are projected to catch nearly 81% of the annual catch target in 2017 during state seasons, leaving less than 600,000 pounds for the private federal season.
    • o   State seasons for 2017 are expected vary from 67 to 365 days.

 

Federal season length and the average state season length for West Florida through Louisiana. Texas is excluded because they have maintained a year-round season.

 

What are the quotas and annual catch targets for 2017?

  • The allowable catch of red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico for both the commercial and recreational sectors is 13.74 million pounds whole weight.  The recreational sector is allocated 49% of that total, which is 6,733,000 pounds whole weight.
  • Both the total recreational quota and the private angling component quota are reduced by the overage of the 2016 total recreational quota.
  • The annual catch targets are 80% of the quotas.  This 20% buffer helps maintain landings within the total quota.

 

Sector or

Component

2017 quota

(pounds whole weight)

2017 Annual Catch Target

(pounds whole weight)

All Recreational 6,603,094* n/a
Federal for-hire 2,848,000 2,278,000
Private angling 3,755,094* 3,004,075**

*Adjusted by 129,906 lbs whole weight to account for 2016 overage, **80% of the adjusted quota

 

Why does the recreational sector get 49% of the allowable catch in 2017 instead of the 51.5% that sector got in 2016?

  • The allocation of 51.5% to the recreational sector and 48.5% to the commercial sector was established in 2016 through Amendment 28 to the reef fish management plan.
  • However, NOAA Fisheries was sued over the allocation change and the judge vacated the final rule implementing Amendment 28.
  • Therefore, NOAA Fisheries has projected the length of the recreational seasons based on the allocations in effect before implementation of the Amendment 28 final rule, which is 49% to the recreational sector and 51% to the commercial sector.

 

How are state season landings for red snapper estimated?

  • Multiple data sets are used to determine the amount of red snapper recreational landings:
    • o   The Marine Recreational Information Program is the source of private and charter landings from state and federal waters off Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi.
    • o   Louisiana and Texas have separate data collection programs for private anglers and charter vessels.
    • o   Headboat landings are reported to the Southeast Region Headboat Survey.
    • Any recreational landings of red snapper reported in federal waters outside the federal season must be reassigned to state seasons, as they could not have been legally harvested from federal waters.
    • A portion of state waters landings during waves (2-month periods) when the federal season and state season overlap are assigned to state seasons; this portion is based on the ratio between open federal days and open state days during the wave.
    • When all these factors and data sources are included, total state season red snapper recreational landings were approximately 2.5 million pounds for 2016.
    • Because federally permitted charter vessels and headboats cannot fish in state waters when the federal season for red snapper is closed, all for-hire landings from are attributed to non-federally permitted vessels, which are part of the private angler component.
    • If nothing were to change from last year, it is anticipated that state waters would account for 83% of the total catch target for recreational red snapper; however, Florida is considering a slightly shorter season this year, so our current projections anticipate 81% of the catch target will be landed in state waters in 2017.
    • The assignment of landings to state versus federal seasons is discussed in detail in the 2017 season projection report at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_fisheries/red_snapper/documents/pdfs/gulf_red_snapper_rec_season_2017.pdf.

 

Where can I find more information on the red snapper fishery in the Gulf of Mexico?

 

WHAT/WHEN:

 

The 2017 Gulf of Mexico federal red snapper recreational seasons open for the private angling and federally permitted for-hire components on June 1, 2017, at 12:01 a.m., local time.  The private angler component season will be 3 days and the federally permitted for-hire component season will be 49 days in federal waters.

 

Closing dates for each component are:

  • Private Anglers: June 4, 2017, at 12:01 a.m., local time.
  • Federally Permitted For-Hire Vessels: July 20, 2017, at 12:01 a.m., local time.

 

HOW THE SEASON LENGTHS WERE DETERMINED:

  • The red snapper total recreational quota is allocated 57.7% to the private angling component and 42.3% to the for-hire component.
  • In 2016, the total recreational quota was exceeded by 129,906 pounds.  The private angling quota was also exceeded.
  • The overage of the total recreational quota must be paid back by the private angling component because that component exceeded its quota.
  • After adjustment for the 2016 overage, the 2017 annual catch target for the private angling component is 3,004,075 pounds whole weight.  The 2017 annual catch target for the for-hire component is 2,278,000 pounds whole weight.
  • Catches in both state and federal waters are counted against the quota.  The number of days for each component to harvest its annual catch target was calculated using 2016 catch rates and accounting for the expected red snapper harvest during state seasons outside the federal season.  Private anglers are expected to harvest nearly 81% of the private angling quota during state seasons that range from 67 to 365 days.
  • Based on the 2017 catch targets and after accounting for landings during state seasons, the private angling season in federal waters can be 3 days and the for-hire season can be 49 days.
  • For information on red snapper recreational management in the Gulf of Mexico including how the season lengths were projected, go to: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_fisheries/red_snapper/index.html.

 

WHEN THE FEDERAL RED SNAPPER SEASON IS CLOSED:

  • Harvest or possession of red snapper in or from federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico is prohibited.
  • State water recreational red snapper seasons may differ from federal water seasons.  Please check with your local state’s rules and regulations.
  • Federally permitted for-hire vessels may not harvest and retain recreationally caught red snapper in state waters, even if state waters remain open after the federal water closure.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

Why are the private recreational red snapper seasons getting shorter when the population is getting larger?

  • To maintain and build on the progress made, NOAA Fisheries needed to set the federal recreational season lengths to keep fishing catches within their targets as mandated by the Magnuson Stevens Act and identified by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.
  • Catch rates are higher.
    • o   There are more red snapper and anglers are catching them faster, landing fish at two and a half times the rate they did in 2007.
    • o   Today’s red snapper are more than twice the size as in 2007, on average going from 3.3 pounds (2007) to 7.25 pounds (2016).
  • Quotas have been adjusted.
    • o   A court ruling required fishery managers to establish accountability measures to reduce the likelihood recreational fishermen will exceed their quota; a 20% recreational quota buffer was established.
    • o   If the annual quota is exceeded, any overage is deducted from the quota for the following fishing season.
  • Red snapper are easy to catch.
    • o   More artificial reefs are being placed closer to shore, aggregating fish and making them more accessible to private anglers.
    • o   Technology, such as fish finders and global positioning satellites – GPS, and artificial reefs that aggregate fish, make red snapper easier to find than in the past.
  • The average state season lengths have increased since 2012 (see Figure below).
    • o   NOAA Fisheries is responsible for ensuring the entire recreational harvest of red snapper, including harvest in state waters, does not exceed the recreational quota.
    • o   Therefore, if states establish a longer season for state waters than allowed in federal waters, the federal season must be adjusted to account for the additional harvest expected in state waters.
    • o   Private anglers are projected to catch nearly 81% of the annual catch target in 2017 during state seasons, leaving less than 600,000 pounds for the private federal season.
    • o   State seasons for 2017 are expected vary from 67 to 365 days.

 

Federal season length and the average state season length for West Florida through Louisiana. Texas is excluded because they have maintained a year-round season.

 

What are the quotas and annual catch targets for 2017?

  • The allowable catch of red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico for both the commercial and recreational sectors is 13.74 million pounds whole weight.  The recreational sector is allocated 49% of that total, which is 6,733,000 pounds whole weight.
  • Both the total recreational quota and the private angling component quota are reduced by the overage of the 2016 total recreational quota.
  • The annual catch targets are 80% of the quotas.  This 20% buffer helps maintain landings within the total quota.

 

Sector or

Component

2017 quota

(pounds whole weight)

2017 Annual Catch Target

(pounds whole weight)

All Recreational 6,603,094* n/a
Federal for-hire 2,848,000 2,278,000
Private angling 3,755,094* 3,004,075**

*Adjusted by 129,906 lbs whole weight to account for 2016 overage, **80% of the adjusted quota

 

Why does the recreational sector get 49% of the allowable catch in 2017 instead of the 51.5% that sector got in 2016?

  • The allocation of 51.5% to the recreational sector and 48.5% to the commercial sector was established in 2016 through Amendment 28 to the reef fish management plan.
  • However, NOAA Fisheries was sued over the allocation change and the judge vacated the final rule implementing Amendment 28.
  • Therefore, NOAA Fisheries has projected the length of the recreational seasons based on the allocations in effect before implementation of the Amendment 28 final rule, which is 49% to the recreational sector and 51% to the commercial sector.

 

How are state season landings for red snapper estimated?

  • Multiple data sets are used to determine the amount of red snapper recreational landings:
    • o   The Marine Recreational Information Program is the source of private and charter landings from state and federal waters off Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi.
    • o   Louisiana and Texas have separate data collection programs for private anglers and charter vessels.
    • o   Headboat landings are reported to the Southeast Region Headboat Survey.
    • Any recreational landings of red snapper reported in federal waters outside the federal season must be reassigned to state seasons, as they could not have been legally harvested from federal waters.
    • A portion of state waters landings during waves (2-month periods) when the federal season and state season overlap are assigned to state seasons; this portion is based on the ratio between open federal days and open state days during the wave.
    • When all these factors and data sources are included, total state season red snapper recreational landings were approximately 2.5 million pounds for 2016.
    • Because federally permitted charter vessels and headboats cannot fish in state waters when the federal season for red snapper is closed, all for-hire landings from are attributed to non-federally permitted vessels, which are part of the private angler component.
    • If nothing were to change from last year, it is anticipated that state waters would account for 83% of the total catch target for recreational red snapper; however, Florida is considering a slightly shorter season this year, so our current projections anticipate 81% of the catch target will be landed in state waters in 2017.
    • The assignment of landings to state versus federal seasons is discussed in detail in the 2017 season projection report at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_fisheries/red_snapper/documents/pdfs/gulf_red_snapper_rec_season_2017.pdf.

 

Where can I find more information on the red snapper fishery in the Gulf of Mexico?

Louisiana Spring Shrimp Season Opens Today!

2017_shrimpseason_spring_1700503redlr

 

The opening dates for the 2017 Louisiana spring shrimp season are as follows:

  • The portion of state inside waters from the Mississippi/Louisiana state line to the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River to open at 6 a.m. on Monday, May 15
  • The portion of state inside waters from the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River to Freshwater Bayou to open at 6 a.m. on Monday, May 8
  • The portion of state inside waters from Freshwater Bayou to the Louisiana/Texas state line to open at 6 a.m. on Monday, May 15

LDWF biologists monitored hydrological parameters and conducted over 500 trawl samples throughout the state’s estuarine and nearshore waters over the last five weeks to develop management recommendations for spring inshore opening dates. The Department provided projections of the dates when a minimum of 50 percent of the inshore brown shrimp population sampled reach sizes of 100 count per pound or larger.

 

The Commission granted authority to the Secretary of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to delay these opening dates if biological and technical data indicate the need to do so, and; to close any portion of Louisiana’s inside waters to protect small juvenile white shrimp if biological and technical data indicate the need to do so, or enforcement problems develop. The Secretary is further granted the authority to open any area, or re-open any previously closed area, and to open and close special shrimp seasons in any portion of state waters.

FB17-025 NOAA Fisheries Announces the Opening of the Western, Northern, and Southern (Gillnet component) Zones to Commercial King Mackerel Fishing in the Gulf of Mexico on May 11, 2017

King Mackerel

King Mackerel. Illustrations by Diane Rome Peebles

KEY MESSAGE:

NOAA Fisheries announces the re-opening of the western, northern, and southern (gillnet component only) Gulf of Mexico zones to commercial king mackerel fishing at 12:01 a.m. local time, May 11, 2017.  NOAA Fisheries will publish a closure notice for each zone when the respective quota is projected to be reached.

 

WHY THIS RE-OPENING IS HAPPENING:

  • A final rule effective on May 11, 2017, increases the quota for each zone in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • The western, northern, and southern zones are currently closed because landings reached the old quotas.
  • The increase in the quotas allows additional harvest for the 2016/2017 fishing year, thus NOAA Fisheries is re-opening the zones in the Gulf of Mexico which have available remaining quota to commercial king mackerel fishing.
  • The landings for the southern zone hook-and-line component exceeded the original quota and are at 100 percent of the new quota; thus, only the western, northern, and southern (gillnet component only) zones will re-open.
  • Beginning May 11, hook-and-line fishing will be prohibited in the Florida Keys, which will now be part of the southern zone in the Gulf year round, and thus is subject to the Gulf of Mexico southern zone hook-and-line component closure.
  • Additional quota information for the 2016/2017 season is as follows:
  Pounds landed Old quota Old quota % New quota New quota % Pounds left
Western 1,114,278 1,071,360 104.00 1,180,000 94.43 65,722
Northern 289,641 178,848 161.95 531,000 54.55 241,359
Southern Hook and Line 619,544 551,448 112.35 619,500 100.01 0
Southern Gillnet 534,892 551,448 97.00 619,500 86.34 84,608

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

 

Why aren’t all of the zones re-opening?

  • Zones are only re-opening if there is sufficient available quota to harvest
  • NOAA Fisheries determined that the southern zone hook-and-line component does not have sufficient quota available to allow for a re-opening and a timely closure to prevent exceeding their quota.
  • Therefore, the southern zone hook and line sector will not be re-opening for the 2016/2017 fishing year when the final rule becomes effective May 11.
  • Because the Florida Keys will now be part of the southern zone in the Gulf year round, harvest of hook-and-line fishing there for king mackerel is prohibited when the southern zone is closed.

 

What will the quotas be in later fishing years?

  • Quota for years up to the 2019/2020 fishing years are listed below.
Year Western Northern Southern Hook and Line Southern Gillnet
2016/2017 1,180,000 531,000 619,500 619,500
2017/2018 1,136,000 511,200 596,400 596,400
2018/2019 1,116,000 502,200 585,900 585,900
2019/2020 1,096,000 493,200 575,400 575,400

 

 

What is the status of the king mackerel population in the Gulf of Mexico?

  • A 2014 assessment determined that the Gulf of Mexico king mackerel population is not undergoing overfishing (too many fish being harvested) nor is it considered to be overfished (too few fish).
  • The assessment indicates that catch levels for the population can be increased.

 

Related Links and Information can be found on NOAA Fisheries Website:    http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_sa/cmp/2016/am%2026/index.html

 

 

 

FB17-026 Fedreal Waters off Texas Closed to Shrimping on May 15, 2017

Seafood Counter Shrimp

By Julie Lively

 

KEY MESSAGE:

NOAA Fisheries announces federal waters from 9 to 200 nautical miles off Texas will close to shrimp trawling at 30 minutes after official sunset, local time, on May 15, 2017, corresponding to the time Texas closes its state waters to shrimp trawling.

 

Federal waters off Texas are west of the line shown in the map below.  Fishermen should not use any other division between Texas and Louisiana federal waters, including lines on NOAA Chart 1116A, which is to be used for mineral rights and not for navigation.

Texas

Shrimp Closure. Courtesy of NOAA.

WHY THIS CLOSURE IS HAPPENING:

 

  • The shrimp fishery is closed annually off Texas to allow brown shrimp to reach a larger and more valuable size prior to harvest, and to prevent waste of brown shrimp that might otherwise be discarded due to their small size.
  • The Texas closure ranges from 45 to 90 days.
  • The closing and re-opening dates of the Texas closure are based on the results of biological sampling by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.  This sampling is used to project the closure, which coincides with brown shrimp in Texas bays and estuaries reaching a mean size of 90 mm, and beginning strong emigrations out of the bays and estuaries during maximum duration ebb tides.  For 2017, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has determined these criteria will be met on May 15.
  • Texas will re-open state waters to shrimp trawling based on sampling projections of when brown shrimp will reach a mean size of 112 mm, and when maximum duration ebb tides will occur.
  • NOAA Fisheries will re-open federal waters off Texas when Texas re-opens its state waters.
  • Historically, the re-opening has been on or about July 15.  If there is a need to adjust the July 15 date for the re-opening, notification of the revised date will be published in the Federal Register and in an additional news bulletin.