Time is running out to sign up to participate in the 2023 derelict crab trap rodeo event. The event will take place this year in the Terrebonne Basin (more details below).
This rodeo event allows LDWF and members of the public to work hand-in-hand, removing derelict crab traps that create navigational hazards. These traps lead to ghost-fishing mortality of blue crabs and other species, which can be captured incidentally, interfere with other commercial fishing gear types, and degrade the beauty of our natural environment. Since its inception, the program has disposed of more than 51,000 derelict crab traps.
In the past, LDWF, Lake Pontchartrain Conservancy, volunteers, Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program (BTNEP), Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) of Louisiana, universities, Louisiana Sea Grant, LSU AgCenter, the American Daughters of Conservation, Fenstermaker, the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (CRCL), Cameron Parish Port Harbor and Terminal District, Jefferson Parish Ecosystem and Coastal Management Department, Jean Lafitte Harbor, and members of the recreational and commercial fishing community assisted in the retrieval of abandoned crab traps. Typically, the highest daily number of derelict crab traps are removed from a basin during these volunteer rodeo events.
LDWF encourages volunteers to participate in these events to make this crab trap rodeo a success and keep our Sportsman’s Paradise pristine. 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.
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 by the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) of Louisiana as a small token of appreciation for helping keep our waterways free and clean of derelict crab traps.
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.
Maps of the closure areas can be found here.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.