The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission adopted a Notice of Intent changing regulations for the commercial harvest of blue crabs during the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
The changes adopted are listed below :
- The commercial harvest of female blue crabs is prohibited March 1 through the end of April in 2018 and 2019.
- A commercial fisherman may possess an incidental take of female crabs in an amount not to exceed two percent of the total number of crabs that is possessed.
- The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission removed the 30-day February through March crab trap closure period for the years 2018 and 2019.
Regulations that will remain in effect in 2018 and 2019:
- Ban on the commercial harvest of immature female blue crabs. There is an exception for immature female blue crabs held for processing as softshell crabs or being sold to a processor for the making of softshell crabs. Additionally, legally licensed commercial crab fishermen may have an incidental take of immature female crabs not to exceed two percent of the total number of crabs in possession. (An immature female crab, also known as a “maiden” or “V-bottom” crab, can be identified as having a triangular shaped apron on her abdomen. A mature female crab can be identified as having a dome shaped apron on her abdomen.)
LDWF reminder for gear changes:
- November 15, 2017 – Changes to the number and size of escape rings required on crab traps will go into effect. A minimum of three escape rings should be placed on the vertical, outside walls flush with the trap floor or baffle, with at least two rings located in the upper chamber of each trap. Single chambered traps are required to have three escape rings. The minimum size of rings should be 2 and 3/8 inches inside diameter. Any crab trap constructed of wire mesh 2 and 5/16 inches square or greater is exempt from escape ring requirements.
Interested persons may submit written comments relative to the proposed rule to Peyton Cagle, Marine Fisheries Biologist DCL-B, Marine Fisheries Section, 1212 N. Lakeshore Dr., Lake Charles, LA 70601, or via e-mail to [email protected] prior to November 30, 2017.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us atwww.wlf.la.gov. To receive email alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.