Gulf Shrimp Season Closes May 15

AUSTIN – The Gulf of Mexico commercial shrimp season for both Texas and federal waters will close 30 minutes after sunset on Wednesday, May 15, until a still-to-be determined date in July. While the statutory opening date for the gulf season is July 15, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s (TPWD) Coastal Fisheries Division will be sampling shrimp populations this summer to determine the optimum opening date. The Texas shrimp fishery is closed annually to allow brown shrimp to reach a larger and more valuable size prior to harvest.

TPWD’s Coastal Fisheries Division Director, Robin Riechers, said that “the goal of this closure is twofold. Allowing shrimp to migrate into gulf waters gives them time to mature and grow before commercial fishermen begin the summer season in July. This also helps ensure Texas’ shrimp stocks are sustainable not just for the season, but for many years to come.”

The May 15 closing date is based on samples collected by biologists using trawl, bag seine, and information gathered from the shrimping industry. Data collected includes bag seine catch rates of brown shrimp, mean lengths of shrimp in April 2024, percent of samples containing shrimp, and periods of maximum nocturnal ebb tidal flow.

The Texas closure applies to gulf waters from the coastline out to nine nautical miles. The National Marine Fisheries Service has announced that federal waters out to 200 nautical miles will also be closed to shrimping to conform to the Texas closure.