Volunteers Needed For Derelict Crab Trap Clean-Ups in Louisiana
Once again, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, in partnership with Louisiana Sea Grant, with assistance from the Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana, and other volunteer organizations, will host Derelict Crab Trap Clean-ups in portions of Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes over the next two months.
Since the program began in 2004, the state has removed and disposed of more than 22,000 derelict and abandoned crab traps. The removal of these traps is not only vital in conserving the blue crab resource, but also improves waterway safety and navigation.
Clean-up schedules are as follows:
The Plaquemines Parish clean-up will begin Feb. 16 at 6 a.m. and end Feb. 25 at 6 a.m. Volunteer clean-up days, hosted by LDWF and LSG, will be held on Saturday, Feb. 16 and Saturday, Feb. 23 at Beshel’s Marina in East Point a La Hache.
The St. Bernard Parish clean-up will begin March 9 at 6 a.m. and end March 18 at 6 a.m. A volunteer clean-up day will be hosted by LDWF and LSG on Saturday, March 9 at Breton Sound Marina in Hopedale.
Derelict traps may be collected anytime during the cleanup period. Representative with LDWF and LSG will be available at each disposal site on the volunteer days beginning at 8:30 a.m. to distribute instructions, maps and supplies to volunteers, assist with the unloading of derelict traps and document the number of traps removed.
In order to conduct the trap clean-ups, crab fishermen must remove their crab traps from within the closure area during the closure period, and all remaining crab traps will be considered abandoned and may be removed by agency personnel or volunteers.
Restrictions to clean-up activities are as follows:
- Crab traps may be removed only between one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.
- Individuals removing crab traps may not possess these traps outside of the closure area; and, abandoned traps must be brought to designated disposal sites.
- Regulations do not provide authorization for public access to private property, as access can only be provided by individual landowners.
Volunteers are needed to assist with dockside activities such as unloading, smashing and stacking traps as boats arrive, however, the greatest need is for boat owners willing to lend a hand in trap retrieval. Volunteers willing to participate in the trap clean-ups are encouraged to pre-register with Louisiana Sea Grant. Registration information, along with other clean-up information is available at: http://www.laseagrant.org/crabtraps/.
Volunteers collecting crab traps are asked to place the traps and buoys at the predetermined disposal sites.
To view a map of the closures areas click here:
For St. Bernard/Plaquemines Parish description area and map, click here:
For Terrebonne Parish description area and map, click here:
Since its establishment in 1968, Louisiana Sea Grant has worked to promote stewardship of the state’s coastal resources through a combination of research, education and outreach programs critical to the cultural, economic and environmental health of Louisiana’s coastal zone. Louisiana Sea Grant, based at Louisiana State University, is part of the National Sea Grant Program, a network of 30 programs in each of the U.S. coastal and Great Lakes states and Puerto Rico/U.S. Virgin Islands.
The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb, or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
For more information please contact Martin Bourgeois at mbourgeois [at] wlf [dot] la [dot] gov or (985) 594-4130 or Dr. Julie Anderson at janderson [at] agcenter [dot] lsu [dot] edu or (225) 578-0771.