SAN LEON, Texas – Harvesters in the coast of Texas to say that the public oyster season is better than expected, despite the Hurricane Harvey kill some oyster populations with heavy rainfall.
The August storm dumped more than 50 mm of rain in parts of southeast Texas, Galveston County Daily News reported .
Many oysters were killed by the inflow of fresh water, particularly in east Galveston Bay, said Lance Robinson, coastal fisheries regional director of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. He said that it would take several years for the population to recover fully.
“We lost pretty much everything in the east of Galveston Bay,” Robinson said.
But other regions of the Gulf that were closed are now open again. Prestige Oysters in San Leon is the purchase of approximately 90 boats along the coast, said Raz Halili, vice-president of the distributing company.
“My expectation was that the oysters would die,” Halili said. “Seeing the fishermen at work and life is really kind of a miracle.”
Halili said the oysters’ resilience by Harvey is a good sign for the population. His company and others have helped in the rebuilding of reefs to keep a healthy population of the mollusk, ” he said.
“There is a battle over the source, but this hurricane just goes to show how the oysters come back,” he said.
Robinson said he is hopeful about the Gulf, the oyster crop as a result of an industry peak after the Tropical Storm Claudette in 1979. The storm destroyed a large portion of the oyster population, but also killed parasites, which prey on oysters.
Data from the few years after Claudette showed an increase in oyster production, according to Robinson. He said that he expected the same of Harvey.
“I think we have a similar pattern to emerge in the next few years in Galveston Bay, with the exception of other large storms,” he said. “But I know that doesn’t necessarily bode well for the industry in the meantime.”
Information from: The Galveston County Daily News, http://www.galvnews.com