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TPWD News Release — May 5, 2010

Gulf Shrimp Season Closing May 15

AUSTIN — The Gulf of Mexico commercial shrimp season for both state and federal waters will close 30 minutes after sunset on Saturday, May 15, and not reopen until some point in July still to be determined.

The May 15 closing date is based on samples collected by the Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Coastal Fisheries Division using TPWD trawl and bag seine data as well as  other information gathered from the Texas shrimping industry.

Data regarding TPWD brown shrimp bag seine catch rates, mean lengths of shrimp in April, percent of samples containing shrimp, and periods of maximum nocturnal ebb tidal flow indicate a May 15 closing date is appropriate.

"The closure is designed to allow these small shrimp to grow to a larger, more valuable size before they are vulnerable to harvest," said Robin Riechers, TPWD Coastal Fisheries Division director. "The goal is to achieve optimum benefits for the shrimping industry while providing proper management to protect the shrimp."

The Texas closure applies to Gulf waters from the coast out to nine nautical miles. The National Marine Fisheries Service is expected to announce federal waters out to 200 nautical miles also will be closed to conform to the Texas closure.

While the statutory opening date for the Gulf season is July 15, the Coastal Fisheries Division will be sampling shrimp populations to determine the optimum opening date for both the shrimp and the shrimpers. No announcement will be made concerning the re-opening until June data are collected.