Presenters: Hal Osburn

Commission Agenda Item No. 5
Status of Crab Trap Removal Program
April 2002

I. Discussion: The purpose of this briefing item is to provide the Commission with an update on the status of Texas’ first-ever crab trap cleanup effort along the coast. At its November 2001 meeting, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopted a closed season for the use of crab traps. This season would extend from 12:01 am Saturday, February 16 through 12:00 midnight Sunday, March 3, 2002. Following directives established by S.B. 1410 from the 77th Texas Legislature, 7 days following the closure, all crab traps remaining in the water are considered abandoned and as such, are trash which can be removed from the water by any person.

Coastal Fisheries Division staff, along with Law Enforcement organized and coordinated the coastwide trap removal effort. As of this writing, an estimated 6,782 crab traps had been removed coastwide by approximately 497 volunteers, not including staff, in 199 private vessels.