At today’s meeting, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) adopted a Notice of Intent (NOI) allowing the removal of derelict crab traps along Louisiana’s coast in 2023 from the four following described areas:

1.    The first closure will take place in the Pontchartrain Basin, in an area between Delacroix, River Aux Chenes, and Bayou Terre Aux Boeufs, from 12 a.m. February 1, 2023, through 11:59 p.m. February 14, 2023.

2.    The second closure will take place in the Barataria Basin, in an area south of Port Sulphur and Empire, from 12 a.m. February 1, 2023, through 11:59 p.m. February 14, 2023.

3.    The third closure will take place in the Terrebonne Basin, in an area south of the Pointe Aux Chenes Wildlife Management Area, from 12 a.m. February 1, 2023, through 11:59 p.m. February 14, 2023

4.    The fourth closure will take place in the Sabine Basin, in the LA portion of Sabine Lake, from 12 a.m. February 17, 2023, through 11:59 p.m. February 26, 2023

Since 2004, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), together with individual volunteers and organizations, has successfully removed and disposed of over 51,000 abandoned and derelict crab traps. Removing these crab traps is especially important to boating safety and crab harvesting efforts. Last year, LDWF, volunteers, the Barataria Terrebonne National Estuary Program (BTNEP), Southwest Master Naturalists, Jefferson Parish Ecosystem and Coastal Management Division, Jean Lafitte Harbor, students from several universities, Fenstermaker, the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA), and members of the recreational and commercial fishing community assisted in retrieving more than 700 abandoned crab traps.

All crab traps remaining in the closed area during the specified period will be considered abandoned.

In the weeks leading up to the closure, LDWF will mail notices to all commercial crab trap license holders and crab buyers within the affected parishes as well as non-resident licensed crab fishermen who landed blue crab within the previous year from Louisiana waters. 

*Please contact our Licensing Department to update your contact information if you have landed crab within the past several years and did not receive a letter in the mail from LDWF about the past crab trap closure areas.

These proposed trap removal regulations do not provide authorization for access to private property. Authorization to access private property can only be provided by individual landowners.

Crab traps may be removed between 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.

Please click here to view maps of the designated closure areas.

Interested persons may submit written comments relative to the proposed rule to Peyton Cagle, Marine Fisheries Biologist DCL-B, Marine Fisheries Section, 1213 N. Lakeshore Dr., Lake Charles, LA 70601, or via e-mail to: [email protected] prior to October 5, 2022.

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