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Posted by Capt_Dave on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 @ 22:47:47 EST (696 reads)

Abandoned Crab Trap Removal Feb 21-Mar 2
The 14th annual Texas Abandoned Crab Trap Removal Program will be underway Feb. 21 to March 2.

During this 10-day period, all Texas bays will be closed to crabbing with wire mesh crab traps. Any traps left in the bay will be assumed abandoned and considered “litter” under state law. This allows volunteers to legally remove any crab traps they find. All other legal means of crabbing will not be affected during the closure period for wire crab traps.

Volunteers are needed to assist in the coast-wide effort to remove the numerous traps that have been lost or abandoned since last year’s cleanup. Last year, volunteers with the aid of numerous sponsors removed nearly 1,000 traps coast-wide, adding to the pile of more than 33,000 derelict crab traps hauled from Texas bays since 2002.

“Volunteers have removed more traps from Texas waters than any other Gulf state and the results show,” says Art Morris, ACTRP program coordinator for TPWD.

TPWD will provide trap drop-off sites at locations in each major bay system along the coast from 8 a.m. to noon on Feb. 22, weather permitting. Dumpsters or collection areas marked with banners will be available to receive traps for the duration of the closure. Volunteers may focus their efforts on Feb. 22 or work at their own pace anytime during the closure, but traps cannot be removed prior to Feb. 21 or after March 2.

The Coastal Conservation Association Texas, Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program, NRG Energy and the Galveston Bay Foundation have provided continued support to the crab trap removal program.

Volunteers may pick up free tarps, gloves, trap hooks and additional information at their local TPWD Coastal Fisheries field stations. TPWD requests that volunteers who remove traps record and submit information about the number of traps they collect as well as documenting any sightings of diamondback terrapins.

For more information, contact your local TPWD Coastal Fisheries office or Art Morris at the Corpus Christi field station, (361) 825-3356 or crabtrap@tpwd.texas.gov.

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