Published: Jul 31, 2011 9:30 PM EDT
Updated: Jul 31, 2011 8:30 PM EDT

SMITH POINT, Texas (AP) - Wildlife experts fear the drought in Texas could kill this year's oyster harvest.
 
Dry conditions have caused the water in Texas' Galveston Bay to be saltier than usual, which allows disease and predators to thrive. Many oysters now being taken from the bay, which is the source of 90% of Texas' oysters, are dead.
 
The drought comes just as Louisiana and Mississippi are suffering poor harvests because of flooding.  Fishermen had hoped Texas would make up the difference, but that now seems unlikely.  They say Gulf oysters may be harder to find this year, and consumers may face high prices.
 
Oysters are a $217 million industry on the Gulf Coast.  Texas and Louisiana account for 70 percent of the species found in the Gulf and on the eastern seaboard.