2021 Derelict Crab Trap Cleanup Events; Volunteers and Sponsors Needed

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Boat full of recovered abandoned traps.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will again host its annual Derelict Crab Trap Rodeo volunteer cleanup event this February.  LDWF encourages volunteers and sponsors to participate in these events to make this crab trap rodeo successful in 2021 and keep our Sportsman’s Paradise pristine.

Volunteers

Volunteers will help collect traps in the field, unload traps at the dock, and count traps as they are unloaded. Commercial fishermen are highly encouraged to participate, as their experience with the local waters and ability to stack traps on their vessels is valuable. Event organizers will provide boat owners with the equipment needed to collect the traps; however, boat owners are responsible for transporting traps in their vessels.

Removing abandoned crab traps is a wet and dirty job, so please wear appropriate clothing and water-resistant gear. Volunteers should bring their own personal floatation device, which should be worn at all times while on the water. Lunch will be provided to all volunteers as a small token of appreciation for their help to keep our waterways free and clean of derelict crab traps.

Terrebonne Basin: A dedicated volunteer day will be held on Saturday, February 6, 2021, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Leeville public boat ramp located off of Hwy 1 and at the end of Old Hwy 1. You may contact the Peyton Cagle at 337-491-2575, or [email protected]wlf.la.gov for directions.  To better coordinate volunteer activities, volunteers are encouraged to register in advance at the following website:

http://lsu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bdaXW54jOoAiujP

Sponsors

In previous years sponsors have provided lunch and/or drinks for all the event participants, breakfast, random gifts for door prizes, portable bathroom facilities, and dumpsters. If you are interested in sponsoring the rodeo event, please contact Peyton Cagle before December 31, 2020 at [email protected]. Please use the words “2021 DCTR Event” in the subject of the email and state how you, your business, or organization would like to sponsor this event.

Area Closures

A list of all the closure areas can be found here, along with additional information about the program.

Before the closures occur, LDWF will mail notices to licensed crab fishermen and seafood dealers informing them that crab traps, by law, must be removed from within the closure areas during the closure period, and all remaining crab traps will be considered abandoned and may be removed by agency personnel or volunteers with no reimbursement to the owner of the abandoned crab traps.

These proposed trap removal regulations do not provide authorization for access to private property. Individual landowners can only provide authorization to access private property.

Crab traps may be removed only between one half-hour before sunrise to one half-hour after sunset. Only LDWF, or those designated by LDWF, will be authorized to remove derelict crab traps in the closure areas. Abandoned traps must be brought to LDWF designated disposal sites and may not be taken from the closed area.

The Derelict Crab Trap Removal Program was initiated by LDWF in 2004 to address the removal of derelict and abandoned crab traps. Derelict traps increase ghost-fishing mortality of blue crabs and other species captured incidentally, interfere with other commercial fishing gear fishing operations, create navigation hazards, and degrade the beauty of our natural environment. A portion of the fees paid by fishermen to participate in the commercial fishing industry funds the volunteer-based program and, since its inception, has disposed of more than 45,000 derelict crab traps, with 4,188 being removed in 2020.

LDWF hosted two volunteer events last year: one in the Barataria Basin and one in the Calcasieu Basin.  These events combined hosted nearly 90 participants and 17 vessels all while removing more than 520 traps.  LDWF is grateful to have members of the public volunteer their time for this program and would once again like to thank them all. Volunteers and sponsors of these events are listed below.

2020 Volunteers

American Daughters of Conservation

Cameron Parish Port Harbor and Terminal District

CCA of Louisiana

Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana

Fenstermaker

Jean Lafitte Harbor

Louisiana Sea Grant

LSU AgCenter

LSU Nicholls and ULL Students

Pontchartrain Conservancy

Recreational and Commercial Fishing Members

 

2020 Sponsors

Cameron Parish Port Harbor and Terminal District

CCA of Louisiana

Fenstermaker

Jean Lafitte Harbor

For more information on the Derelict Crab Trap Removal Program, go to www.wlf.louisiana.gov/page/derelict-crab-trap-removal, or contact Peyton Cagle at 337-491-2575 or [email protected].