Freshly caught: Commercial gulf shrimp season to open

Shrimpers will be able to hunt for the flavors of the ocean again starting on July 15. (Courtesy photo: TPWD)

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — The search for delectable gulf shrimp will be able to resume.

On Thursday, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) announced that the commercial gulf shrimp season will open on July 15.

The Gulf of Mexico commercial shrimp season for both state and federal waters will reopen 30 minutes after sunset.

According to a TPWD press release, biologists evaluate the biological, social and economic impact when deciding the opening date to maximize the benefits to the industry and the public.

The Gulf of Mexico commercial shrimp season closed on May 15. Shrimp populations were sampled this summer to determine an opening date.

The press release states that in making its determination, the TPWD Coastal Fisheries Division used the best available data from samples collected during routine trawls and bag seines in June.

According to TPWD Coastal Fisheries Division Director Robin Riechers, the goal of the closure was twofold.

It allowed shrimp to migrate into gulf waters to grow before they are harvested and ensured shrimp stocks are sustainable in the future.

“The annual mid-May closure protects brown shrimp until they can reach larger, more valuable sizes during their major period of emigration from the bays to the Gulf of Mexico,” Riechers stated. “The closure also helped to prevent the waste caused by the discarding of smaller individual shrimp.”