The shrimp fishery is closed annually off Texas to allow brown shrimp to reach a larger and more valuable size prior to harvest, and to prevent waste of brown shrimp that might otherwise be discarded because of their small size.
The opening dates of the Texas closure are based on the results of biological sampling by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). NOAA Fisheries opens federal waters off Texas when the state of Texas opens its territorial waters. Texas opens state waters when projections indicate the average size of brown shrimp leaving the estuaries is 112 mm total length, during a period of maximum duration ebb tides. TPWD has projected the criteria to end the Texas closure will be met on July 15 this year.