Derelict Crab Trap Removal

2018 Derelict Crab Trap Closure

LDWF plans five crab trap closures along the Louisiana coast in 2018. 

Barataria Basin Crab Trap Removal - Cancelled

 

West Lake Pontchartrain Crab Trap Removal - Cancelled

 

Sabine Basin Crab Trap Removal

The use of crab traps shall be prohibited for a 10-day period from 12 a.m. February 16, 2018, through 11:59 p.m. February 25, 2018:

  • From a point originating from the intersection of the southern side of LA Highway 82 and the eastern shore of Sabine Lake, then north along the eastern shoreline of Sabine Lake to its intersection with East Pass, then due north to Sabine Island, then west along the southern shoreline of Sabine Island to its westward most point, then due west to the Texas state line, then south along the Louisiana / Texas state line to its intersection with LA Highway 82, then east along the southern side of LA Highway 82 and terminating at its intersection with the eastern shore of Sabine Lake

Pontchartrain Basin Crab Trap Removal

The use of crab traps shall be prohibited for a 16-day period from 12 a.m. March 16, 2018, through 11:59 p.m. March 31, 2018:

  • From a point of origin located at the most northeastern corner of Proctor Point in Lake Borgne (Lat. 29 ° 56' 47.47" N., Long. 89 ° 42' 54.25" W.), then eastward to the most northwestern point in Lake Eugenie (Lat. 29 ° 55' 42.99" N., Long. 89 ° 26' 32.41" W.), then southward past Coon Nest Island to a point located on the western bank of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) (Lat. 29 ° 42' 29.25" N., Long. 89 ° 26' 16.56" W.), then northwestward following the western bank of the MRGO to the intersection of Bayou La Loutre, then westward to the intersection of Bayou La Loutre and the Shell Beach Cut (Lat. 29 ° 50' 28.27" N., Long. 89 ° 41' 23.38" W.), then following the western bank of the Shell Beach Cut northward to its entry point at Lake Borgne (Lat. 29 ° 51' 54.53" N., Long. 89 ° 40' 32.52" W.), then westward following the southern bank of Lake Borgne as it makes its northern turn at Proctor Point and terminating at the northeastern corner of Proctor Point (Lat. 29 ° 56' 47.47" N., Long. 89 ° 42' 54.25" W.)

Pontchartrain Basin Crab Trap Removal

The use of crab traps shall be prohibited for a 16-day period from 12 a.m. March 4, 2018, through 11:59 p.m. March 19, 2018:

  • From a point located where Bayou La Loutre crosses under Highway 300 (Lat. 29 ° 50' 40.41" N., Long. 89 ° 45' 32.18" W.), then south on Highway 300 to Sweetwater Marina in Delacroix, then south following the western bank of Bayou Terre aux Boeufs to its point of exit into Black Bay (Lat. 29 ° 39' 14.73" N., Long. 89 ° 32' 54.19" W.), then southeastward to a point located at the southern tip of Mozambique Point (Lat. 29 ° 38' 2.27" N., Long. 89 ° 30' 2.80" W.), then eastward to a point located on the western bank of the MRGO, across from Grace Point, (Lat. 29 ° 41' 1.11" N., Long. 89 ° 24' 2.54" W.), then northwestward following the western bank of the MRGO to the intersection of Bayou La Loutre, then westward following Bayou La Loutre and terminating where Bayou La Loutre intersects with Highway 300 (Lat. 29 ° 50' 40.41" N., Long. 89 ° 45' 32.18" W.)

Terrebonne Basin Crab Trap Removal

The use of crab traps shall be prohibited for a 14-day period from 12 a.m. March 16, 2018, through 11:59 p.m. March 29, 2018:

  • From a point originating from the intersection of LA Highway 57 and Dulac Canal, then east along LA Highway 57 to its intersection with LA 56, then due east to the western shoreline of Bayou Little Caillou, then north along the western shoreline of Bayou Little Caillou to its intersection with Lapeyrouse Canal, then east along the northern shoreline of Lapeyrouse Canal to its intersection with Bayou Terrebonne, then south along the eastern shoreline of Bayou Terrebonne to its intersection with Seabreeze Pass, then southwest to channel marker number 17 of the Houma Navigation Canal (Lat. 29 ° 11' 11.3" N., Long. 90 ° 36' 44.5" W.), then southwest to the northern most point on Pass la Poule Island (Lat. 29 ° 08' 33.5" N., Long. 90 ° 39' 01.3" W.), then west to Bayou Sale channel marker (Lat. 29 ° 06' 31.8" N., Long. 90 ° 44' 34.2" W.), then north to the western shoreline of Bayou Sale, then north along the western shoreline of Bayou Sale to its intersection with Four Point Bayou, then north along the western shoreline of Four Point Bayou to its intersection with the Houma Navigation Canal, then north along the western shoreline of the Houma Navigation Canal to its intersection with Bayou Grand Caillou, then north along the western shoreline of Bayou Grand Caillou to its intersection with Dulac Canal, then east along the northern shoreline of Dulac Canal and terminating at its intersection with LA Highway 57

Vermilion-Teche Basin Crab Trap Removal

The use of crab traps shall be prohibited for a 14-day period beginning at 12 a.m. on March 18, 2018, and end on March 31, 2018, at 11:59 p.m.:

  • From a point originating from the intersection of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and the Acadiana Navigational Channel, then southwest along the Acadiana Navigational Channel red buoy line to the red navigational marker number 12 on the Marsh Island shoreline near Southwest Pass, then east along the shoreline of Marsh Island to Longitude 91 ° 43’ 00” W, then north along Longitude 91 ° 43’ 00” W to the shoreline of West Cote Blanche Bay, then west along the northern shoreline of West Cote Blanche Bay to its intersection with the Ivanhoe Canal, then north along the eastern shoreline of the Ivanhoe Canal to its intersection with the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, then west along the northern shoreline of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and terminating at the Acadiana Navigational Channel  

What is a derelict crab trap?

Derelict traps are traps that have been lost or abandoned. Large numbers of crab traps are lost or abandoned each year due to a number of reasons:

  • Separated from their buoys by tides, currents, storms, or passing boats
  • Caught in and displaced by shrimp gear
  • Vandalism
  • Improper disposal of old, unfishable traps
  • Poor assembly or maintenance of lines and floats
  • Abandoned by fishermen leaving the fishery.

Derelict traps can "ghost fish", continuing to capture blue crabs and other species. They can also create a navigational hazard for boats and become entangled in other fishing gear such as shrimp nets.

Since most crab traps are made of vinyl coated wire mesh, it can take years for a derelict crab trap to degrade. Removing these traps is essential for reducing mortality of blue crabs and other species due to ghost fishing, ensuring safe navigation, reducing conflicts with other fisheries and user groups, and improving the aesthetics of state waterways.

Derelict Crab Trap Removal Program

Under the authority of R.S. 56:332, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission established a Derelict Crab Trap Removal Program in 2004 to remove derelict crab traps from state-owned lake and river beds and other water bottoms and reduce their potential impacts. The program also collects data on the number and types of animals found in recovered traps. This program is funded in part by the sale of Louisiana crab fishing licenses and is run by LDWF, Louisiana Sea Grant, and volunteers.

Under this program, the Commission may prohibit crab traps in state-owned lake and river beds and other water bottoms during the following times:

  • A period not to exceed 16 consecutive days between February 1 and March 31
  • A period not to exceed 14 consecutive-days which includes the opening day of the spring inshore shrimp season.

Any crab trap found in these areas of the state when the Commission has prohibited their use shall be considered abandoned and may be removed by persons authorized by the Commission.

The Commission may also designate:

  • The beginning and ending dates of the trap closure
  • The geographical area of the trap closure
  • Who may remove the abandoned traps
  • The locations where the removed abandoned traps are to be placed for disposal.

Program Success

Since the Derelict Crab Trap Removal Program began, volunteers have helped remove more than 33,000 traps.

Year

Area

Closure Dates

Traps Removed

2004

Upper Terrebonne Bay Estuary

2/28-3/14

6,676

W. Vermilion Bay

5/14-5/22

218

2004 Total

6,894

2005

Sabine Lake

2/18-2/27

4

Breton Sound Estuary

2/26-3/13

 1,941

Middle Terrebonne Bay Estuary

3/5-3/20

 2,437

E. Vermilion Bay / West Cote Blanche Bay

5/16-5/22

241

2005 Total

4,623

2006

SW Terrebonne Bay Estuary

3/4-3/13

2,935

2007

E. Lake Pontchartrain

2/24-3/5

774

Upper Barataria Bay Estuary

3/3-3/12

724

2007 Total

1,498

2008

Upper Terrebonne Bay Estuary

2/23-3/2

1,234

2009

Terrebonne Bay Estuary

N/A

788

2010

Upper Barataria Bay Estuary

2/27-3/7

477

2011

Western Plaquemines Parish

2/26-3/5

1,100

2012

St. Bernard/Plaquemines Parish

2/25-3/5

1,961

Terrebonne Parish

3/17-3/26

747

2012 Total

2,708

2013

Plaquemines Parish

2/16-2/25

492

St. Bernard Parish

3/9-3/18

477

2013 Total

969

2014

Western Terrebonne Parish

2/15-2/24

1,051

2015

Cameron Parish

2/20-3/1

422

2016

St. Tammany / Orleans Parish

2/12-2/21

1,386

Jefferson / Lafourche Parish

2/19-2/28 1,194

2016 Total

2,580

2017

Eastern Louisiana

2/20-3/7

4,616

Western Louisiana

3/6-3/21 1,058

2017 Total

5,674

Overall Total

33,040

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