Ellis “Chappie” Chapman holds a handful of oysters from the demonstration farm in Tres Palacios Bay. Oyster mariculture was legalized in Texas in 2019 and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department announced the launch of online permit applications in August.
PALACIOS — On a recent balmy afternoon, Ellis Chapman emptied a cage of 4-month-old oysters on the front of a boat in Tres Palacios Bay.
“Do you see how clean they are?” Chapman asked, as he moved them around with his hands. “They were the size of sand when we got them, like a big clump of sand. That was six weeks ago and now they are maybe 1 ½-inch just really beautiful oysters.”
I was born and raised in Houston, but spent many summers and weekends in the Crossroads while growing up. I studied journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, and feel lucky to cover a region I love dearly.