LDWF Announces 2023 Derelict Crab Trap Cleanup Event

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will host its annual Derelict Crab Trap Rodeo volunteer cleanup event this February. LDWF encourages volunteers and sponsors to participate in these events to make the crab trap rodeos successful in 2023 and keep our Sportsman’s Paradise pristine.

Volunteers

Volunteers will help collect traps in the field, unload them at the dock, and count them, 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 volunteers should 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.
•Terrebonne Basin: A dedicated volunteer day will be held on Saturday, February 4, 2023, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Isle de Jean Charles Marina at 571 Island Rd, Montegut, LA 70377. You may contact Peyton Cagle at 337-491-2213 or pcagle@wlf.la.gov for directions. To better coordinate volunteer activities, volunteers are encouraged to register in advance at the following website:

https://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/form/2023-derelict-crab-trap-rodeo-cleanup-volunteer-registration

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, 2022, at pcagle@wlf.la.gov. Please use the words “2023 DCTR Event” in the subject of the email and state how you, your business, or your 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 commercial crab fishermen and seafood dealers, informing them that crab traps, by law, must be removed from within the closure areas during the closure period. 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. Only individual landowners can provide authorization to access their property.

Crab traps may be removed only one half-hour before sunrise and 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.

LDWF initiated the Derelict Crab Trap Removal Program 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. Since its inception, the program has disposed of more than 51,000 derelict crab traps.

For more information on the Derelict Crab Trap Removal Program, go to https://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/page/derelict-crab-trap-removal, or contact Peyton Cagle at 337-491-2213 or pcagle@wlf.la.gov.