Texas Cultivated Oyster Mariculture (TX COM)

Thank you for your interest in oyster mariculture in Texas. The Texas commercial oyster fishery has primarily relied upon the harvest of oysters from natural reefs in areas approved by the Texas Department of State Health Services and under certificates of location, or lease programs, in Galveston Bay. However, as the value of oysters continues to increase, interest in off-bottom cage culture of oysters has gained popularity throughout the United States and Texas. During the 86th Texas Legislative Session, HB 1300 granted authority to the Parks and Wildlife Commission to develop an off-bottom oyster mariculture program using enclosed cages. In May 2020, the Parks and Wildlife Commission adopted rules establishing this program.

If you would like to be a part of the oyster mariculture program, download the current version of the Cultivated Oyster Mariculture Permit Application and instructions from this webpage. You may also request a copy be mailed or emailed to you from the Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Coastal Fisheries Division by contacting us at oyster.mariculture@tpwd.texas.gov.

To facilitate the application process, the department recommends that applicants schedule an appointment with local Coastal Fisheries staff to review your proposed site. By meeting with staff, you can utilize the Coastal Fisheries Division's Spatial Planning Tool. Staff will be able to help you determine if the "proposed site" conflicts with sensitive habitat or other permitted activities in the area. Staff cannot recommend or choose a site for the applicant.

Habitat Assessment - Emma Clarkson, 361-825-3380
Galveston Bay – Christine Jensen, 281-534-0110
Matagorda Bay – Caren Collins, 361-972-6253, x224
San Antonio Bay – Clint Troxler, 361-983-4425, x231
Aransas Bay – Zach Olsen, 361-729-5429, x230
Corpus Christi Bay – Brian Bartram, 361-729-2328, x248
Upper Laguna Madre – Faye Grubbs, 361-825-3281
Lower Laguna Madre – Andres Garcia, 956-350-4490, x222

How to Submit

The application process for a Cultivated Oyster Mariculture (COM) Permit is a two-step process.