Volunteers Needed for Derelict Crab Trap Cleanups


People returning derlict crab traps

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will host its annual Derelict Crab Trap Rodeo with two volunteer cleanup events in March. LDWF encourages volunteers to participate in this opportunity to remove abandon crab traps and conserve Louisiana’s marine resources. Volunteers are needed to assist with dockside activities including unloading and stacking traps. The greatest need is for volunteer boat owners to help maximize collection.

The department will host the following volunteer cleanup events:

Lake Pontchartrain Basin: In partnership with Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation and St. Bernard Parish government, a dedicated volunteer day will be held on Saturday, March 4 from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Sweetwater Marina located at 6205 Delacroix Hwy. For more information, contact Patrick Smith at [email protected].

Terrebonne Basin: A second volunteer event will take place at Isle De Jean Charles Marina at 571 Island Road in Montegut on Saturday, March 11 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, contact Jeff Marx at [email protected].

Boat owners will be given the equipment needed to collect the traps and transport them in the owner’s vessel. Additional volunteers are welcome to man the unloading dock and help with the demolition and disposal of traps.

The derelict crab trap cleanups will take place during the 30-day closure of the commercial blue crab fishery. The prohibition on the use of all crab traps begins on the third Monday in February.

The Derelict Crap Trap Removal Program was initiated by LDWF in 2004 to address removal of derelict and abandoned crab traps. The traps increase ghost-fishing mortality of blue crabs and other species captured incidentally, interfere with other commercial fishing gear types, create navigation hazards and reduce visual appeal of our environment. The volunteer-based program is funded through commercial fishermen gear fees, and since its inception has disposed of more than 27,000 derelict crab traps.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.la.gov. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.