The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission adopted a Notice of Intent that targets Sabine Lake for a joint crab trap cleanup by the Louisiana Department Wildlife and Fisheries and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
In order to conduct the cleanup, both the Louisiana and Texas sides of Sabine Lake will be temporarily closed to the use of crab traps so staff from both agencies and volunteers can conduct the cleanup. The Sabine Lake crab trap closure is scheduled to begin at 6 a.m. February 20, 2015 through 6 a.m. March 1, 2015 and also includes portions of the Sabine River and other parts of Cameron Parish immediately east of Sabine Lake.
In the past 10 years, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, together with individual volunteers and organizations, has successfully removed and disposed of more than 24,000 abandoned and derelict crabs. The removal of these crab traps is especially important to boating safety and crab harvesting efforts.
Last year, LDWF and Louisiana Sea Grant staff, volunteer organizations and individual volunteers including members of the Coastal Conservation Association and Louisiana Crab Task Force as well as volunteer students and faculty from Nicholls State University and LSU, NOAA Fisheries Service, and charterboat captains, commercial crab and shrimp fishermen contributed to the removal of over 1,000 crab traps from coastal waters in Terrebonne Parish.
Sabine Crab Trap Removal
The use of crab traps will be prohibited in the following area beginning at 6 a.m., February 20 through 6 a.m., March 1, 2015:
From a point originating at the Louisiana/Texas state line at the mouth of the Sabine River; thence northward along the Louisiana/Texas state line through the Sabine River and Sabine Lake; thence northward along the Louisiana/Texas state line through the Sabine River to the intersection of the Sabine River and the northern shore of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW); thence eastward along the northern shore of the GIWW to 93 degrees 37 minutes 00 seconds West longitude; thence southward along 93 degrees 37 minutes 00 seconds West longitude to a point along the inside-outside shrimp line as defined in R.S. 56:495(A); thence westward along the inside-outside shrimp line and terminating at the Louisiana/Texas state line and mouth of the Sabine River.
For a map detailing the closure area, click here:
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 licensed recreational and commercial crab trap license holders and crab buyers within Cameron and Calcasieu parishes as well as non-resident licensed crab fishermen who fish Louisiana waters and reside in Texas.
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 only between one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. Anyone may remove these abandoned crab traps from within the closed area. Abandoned traps must be brought to LDWF designated disposal sites and may not be taken from the closed area.
The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb, or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
Interested persons may submit written comments relative to the proposed rule to Mr. Martin Bourgeois, Marine Fisheries Biologist DCL-B, Marine Fisheries Section, Box 189, Bourg, LA 70343, or via e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org prior to October 10, 2014.