Crab Trap Rodeo Wrangles in 747 Traps
March 19, 2012
Since 2004, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, together with individual volunteers and organizations, has successfully removed and disposed of nearly 20,000 abandoned and derelict crab traps. This year, LDWF partnered with Louisiana Sea Grant and CCA Louisiana for the 2012 crab trap removal efforts. Mesh traps left behind in the waterways of coastal Louisiana maim or kill large numbers of local sportfish and crabs each year. Derelict traps also wash into shallow water and become navigational hazards for boats.
On Saturday, March 17, the Terrebonne Parish crab trap rodeo was held at the LUMCON DeFelice Marine Center. LUMCON staff members Lora Pride and Joe Malbrough were among the volunteers who combed the marshes and bayous surrounding Cocodrie to locate and haul in abandoned crab traps.
Dr. Julie Anderson, Fisheries Extension Specialist with Louisiana Sea Grant and an organizer of the event, was pleased with the rodeo’s success. “We’ve had over 20 boats of people gathering traps, which is phenomenal” said Anderson. The final total of crab traps retrieved on Saturday was 747, which brought the project total to over 2700 traps.
One more derelict trap was pulled up in the trawl of the R/V Acadiana on a university class field trip. It contained several stone crabs and female blue crabs with eggs—all of which were returned to the wild.