Crab trap removal begins today
By Joe Kent - Galveston County Daily News
Published February 18, 2011
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is hoping to add to the pile of more than 27,500 derelict crab traps hauled from Texas bays since 2002, as officials are gearing up for the 10th abandoned crab trap removal effort beginning today and running through Feb. 27.
During this 10-day period, all Texas bays will be closed to crabbing with traps. Any traps left in a bay will be assumed to be abandoned and considered “litter” under state law, which allows volunteers to legally remove any traps they find.
Game wardens collect more than 2,500 illegal traps annually, but many more remain in the water to foul shrimpers’ nets, snag fishermen’s lines, accidentally trap fish and create an unsightly view.
This year, in celebration of the first decade of the program, two framed original Texas Parks and Wildlife Department stamp prints will be given to two lucky volunteers who help out with the program.
The department will be facilitating trap drop-off sites at several locations in each major bay system along the coast from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, weather permitting.
At all sites, Dumpsters marked with banners will be available to receive traps for the duration of the closure.
Volunteers may help out Saturday or work at their own pace anytime during the closure.
Last year, volunteers, with the aid of numerous sponsors, removed about 1,800 traps.
To participate, volunteers can arrange to pickup free tarps, gloves, trap hooks and additional information at their local Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Coastal Fisheries field stations. The department requests volunteers’ who remove traps record and submit information about the number they collect as well as any sightings of diamond-backed terrapins.
Drop off stations around the Galveston Bay Complex include:
• Jones Lake State Ramp (Fat Boys) — facilitated and trap drop-off site
• TPWD Dickinson Marine Lab, 1502 FM 517 E, Dickinson — trap drop-off site
• Seabrook SH 146 Bridge Public Boat Ramp — trap drop-off site
• Fort Anahuac County Park Boat Ramp — facilitated and trap drop-off site
• Chocolate Bayou State Boat Ramp, FM 2004 — facilitated and trap drop-off site
• Pier 30 Bait and Tackle, 1617 E. state Hwy. 332, Freeport — trap drop-off site
For information, call Bill Balboa at 281-534-0110.
To get your catch in the Reel Report, phone Capt. Joe Kent at 409-683-5273, or send an e-mail to reel.report(at)galvnews.com. There’s no charge for this service.