GALVESTON, Texas (AP) - Regulators have decided that oyster leaseholders in Galveston Bay and elsewhere in Texas must pay $20 per acre each year for use of submerged state land.

The Galveston County Daily News reported Tuesday that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission originally proposed $60 per acre. The most recent rate had been $6 per acre annually.

Texas Parks & Wildlife Department official Lance Robinson says the commission decided on the lower rate after oyster leaseholders protested. The price increases were intended to help cover the state's cost of operating the lease program, mainly enforcement.

The commission renewed the lease program for 15 years, but will review pricing every three years.

Texas oyster reefs are still recovering from when Hurricane Ike hit 2008, plus drought and flooding in recent years.


Information from: The Galveston County Daily News,

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)