Note: This item is more than six years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Commercial Fishermen Aid in Restoring Galveston Bay Oyster Reefs
HOUSTON – Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Coastal Fisheries Division and commercial oyster fishermen are working together to restore about 2,000 acres of oyster reefs damaged by Hurricane Ike. More than half the bays reefs, about 8,000 acres, were smothered by sediment deposits when Hurricane Ike made landfall in September 2008.
About 180 fishermen have signed on to assist in restoration efforts taking place during the next couple of months. Fishermen are being hired to use their boats and fishing gear to pull dead shell out of the sediment, thereby providing a surface for oyster larvae to attach and grow. Re-exposing the buried shell will provide the hard substrate oyster larvae require. It will take 18 to 24 months for newly settled oysters to reach a legal size of three inches.
Besides the valuable commercial fishery a healthy oyster population supports, restoring oyster reefs to Galveston Bay is critical to the overall health of the ecosystem. Oysters feed by filtering tiny plants known as phytoplankton from the water. This filter feeding also removes silt and contaminants from the water, making oysters nature’s bio-filters. Oyster reefs also provide habitat for numerous bottom dwelling fish and invertebrates that are in turn food for larger game fish. Scientists refer to these various functions of oyster reefs, including providing product for the commercial fishing industry, as "ecosystem services."
Funding for this project comes from a federal fisheries disaster grant to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department through the National Marine Fisheries Service. This project will provide benefits to the ecosystem and to both the recreational and commercial fisheries in Galveston Bay.
Publication — Permission is granted to publish, in whole or in part, any news releases on this page.
Print — A print-friendly version of the news release shows only the release with font sizes set to the browser default.
Plain Text — Plain text versions of TPWD news releases are provided for copying and pasting into editing software.
To copy text into an editing software:
- Click a Plain Text link to display the plain text page in your browser.
- Select all.
- Paste in a document in your editing program.
Permalink — This is a direct link to the news release, omitting the navigation context from the URI.
English/Spanish — News releases posted in both English and Spanish have one of these links.
If you have any suggestions for improving these pages, send an e-mail to email@example.com and mention Plain Text Pages.