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Harvester Licenses and Fees
To harvest blue crab commercially in Louisiana’s waters, you must have the following licenses issued by LDWF:
- A commercial fisherman’s license ($55 resident, $460 nonresident)*
- A vessel license in the vessel owner’s name ($15 resident, $60 nonresident), unless crabbing with legal land-based gear or in areas not designated as saltwater
- Licenses for the fishing gear you’re using*:
- For any legal number of crab traps ($25 resident, $100 nonresident). You must also pay an annual gear fee ($10 resident, $40 nonresident) in addition to trap license fees.Beginning August 1, 2015, for any legal number of crab traps ($50 resident, $200 nonresident). The annual gear fee will be included in the trap license fees. Beginning November 14, 2014, any commercial fisherman applying for a crab trap gear license in any two of the following years: 2011,2012,2013, and 2014. Otherwise, fishermen who wish to purchase a crab trap gear license must first enroll in and complete a crab industry professionalism program. Once program requirements are finalized, details will be available at www.wlf.la.gov/crabtraining.
- For each butterfly, cast, dip, drop, skimmer, or trawl net ($25 resident, $100 nonresident). If using these gears during shrimp season, you must also pay an annual gear fee ($10 resident, $40 nonresident).
- For any legal number of bush, hand, or trotlines, ($25 resident, $100 nonresident)
*If you are a Louisiana resident, age 70 or older, you may instead purchase a senior commercial fisherman and gear license for $20. Beginning August 1, 2015, senior commercial fishermen are exempt from paying a crab trap gear fee.
Commercial Fishermen may receive a "certified" endorsement to their commercial fishermen's license. In order to receive this endorsement from the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, a notarized statement from the fisherman's tax preparer certifying that based upon his most recent federal income tax return, the individual earns at least 50% of his income from commercial fishing activities.
To sell blue crabs you have caught to anyone other than a Louisiana licensed wholesale/retail seafood dealer or transport your catch out-of-state, you must have a Wholesale/Retail Seafood Dealer’s License ($250 resident, $1,105 nonresident).
To sell blue crab you have caught directly to consumers within the state, you must have a Fresh Products License ($20 resident, $120 nonresident). Your spouse may purchase a Fresh Products-Spouse License for $5 to sell directly to consumers.
To apply for LDWF-issued licenses, contact 225-765-2898 or visit LDWF’s Headquarters at 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge. Renew your licenses online at www.la.wildlifelicense.com.
Buyer and Retailer Licenses and Fees