LDWF Announces Abandoned Crab Trap Cleanup Event in 2023; Volunteers and sponsors wanted

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will host its annual Derelict Crab Trap Rodeo Volunteer Cleanup event in February. The LDWF encourages volunteers and sponsors to participate in these events to make crab pot rodeos a success in 2023 and keep our sportsman’s paradise intact.


Volunteers will help collect traps from the field, unload them at the dock and count them as they are unloaded. Commercial fishermen are strongly encouraged to participate, as their experience of local waters and their ability to stack traps on their boats are invaluable. Event organizers will provide boat owners with the necessary equipment to pick up traps; however, boat owners are responsible for carrying lockers in their boats.

Removing abandoned crab pots is wet and dirty work. Volunteers should therefore wear appropriate clothing and water-resistant equipment. Volunteers must bring their own personal flotation device, which must be worn at all times while on the water.

  • Terrebonne Basin: A dedicated volunteer day will be held on Saturday, February 4, 2023, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Isle de Jean Charles Marina at 571 Island Rd, Montegut, LA 70377. You can contact Peyton Cagle at 337-491-2213 or pcagle @wlf.la.gov for directions. In order to better coordinate volunteer activities, volunteers are encouraged to register in advance at the following website:



In previous years, sponsors have provided lunch and/or beverages to all event attendees, breakfast, random giveaways for door prizes, portable toilets, and dumpsters. If you would like to sponsor the rodeo event, please contact Peyton Cagle by December 31, 2022 at [email protected] Please use the words “2023 DCTR Event” in the subject line of the email and indicate how you, your business or organization would like to sponsor this event.

Area closures

A list of all closed areas can be found here, along with additional program information.

Before the closures occur, the LDWF will send notices to commercial crab harvesters and licensed seafood vendors advising them that crab pots, by law, must be removed from closure areas during the period. closing. AAny remaining crab pots will be considered abandoned and may be removed by agency staff or volunteers without reimbursement to the owner of the abandoned crab pots.

This draft by-law on the removal of traps does not provide for authorization of access to private property. Only individual owners can provide access authorization to their property.

Crab pots can only be removed half an hour before sunrise and half an hour after sunset. Only LDWF, or those designated by LDWF, will be authorized to remove abandoned crab pots from the closure areas. Abandoned traps should be taken to LDWF designated disposal sites.

The LDWF initiated the Abandoned Crab Trap Removal Program in 2004 to address the removal of derelict and abandoned crab traps. Abandoned traps increase ghost fishing mortality of blue crabs and other bycatch species, interfere with other commercial fishing operations with fishing gear, create hazards to navigation, and degrade the beauty of our natural environment. Part of the fees paid by fishers to participate in the commercial fishing industry funds the volunteer-based program. Since its inception, the program has eliminated over 51,000 abandoned crab traps.

For more information about the Abandoned Crab Trap Removal Program, go to https://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/page/derelict-crab-trap-removal, or contact Peyton Cagle at 337- 491-2213 or [email protected] la.gov.

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