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Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030

Additional Contacts: Zack Thomas (512) 389-8448, crabtrap@tpwd.texas.gov

TPWD Website: http://tpwd.texas.gov

TPWD News Release — Feb. 1, 2016

Dates for Annual Crab Trap Removal Set

AUSTIN — For more than a decade, countless volunteers have spent 10 days each February searching Texas bays for abandoned crab traps left to foul shrimpers’ nets, snag anglers’ lines and create unsightly views.

This year, volunteers will clean up the crab traps from Feb. 19 to 28.

During this 10-day period, coastal waters will be closed to crabbing with wire mesh crab traps. All other legal means of crabbing will not be affected.

Any traps left in bays, including traps tied to docks, during the closure period will be assumed abandoned and considered “litter” under state law. This allows volunteers to legally remove any crab traps they find. To date, volunteers have hauled off more than 31,000 of these derelict traps.

To facilitate volunteer trap removal efforts this year, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will provide trap drop-off locations in each major bay system along the coast from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Feb. 20, weather permitting. Dumpsters or collection areas marked with banners will also be available at all sites to receive traps for the duration of the closure. Volunteers may focus their efforts on Feb. 20 or work at their own pace anytime during the closure, but traps cannot be removed by anyone other than a game warden or the device’s legal owner prior to Feb. 19 or after Feb. 28.

To participate, volunteers can pick up free tarps, gloves, trap hooks and additional information at their local TPWD Coastal Fisheries field stations. Volunteers can also sign up at tpwd.texas.gov/volunteer by using keyword search “crab.” TPWD requests volunteers record and submit information about the number of traps they collect and document any sightings of diamondback terrapins.

The Coastal Conservation Association Texas, Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries Program, Galveston Bay Foundation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are providing continued support to the crab trap removal program.

For more information, contact your local TPWD Coastal Fisheries office or Zack Thomas at TPWD Headquarters: (512) 389-8448 or crabtrap@tpwd.texas.gov.

Trap Drop-off Sites

SABINE LAKE – Local TPWD coordinator Carey Gelpi (409) 983-1104 (ext. 222)

GALVESTON BAY – Local TPWD coordinator Glen Sutton (281) 534-0110

MATAGORDA BAY– Local TPWD coordinator Leslie Hartman (361) 972-6253

SAN ANTONIO BAY – Local TPWD coordinator Norman Boyd (361) 983-4425

ARANSAS BAY – Local TPWD coordinator Chris Mace (361) 729-5429

CORPUS CHRISTI BAY – Local TPWD coordinator Tom Wagner (361) 729-2328

UPPER LAGUNA MADRE – Local TPWD coordinator Faye Grubbs (361) 825-3353

LOWER LAGUNA MADRE – Local TPWD coordinator Jason Ferguson (956) 350-4490

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