Volunteers needed for crab trap rodeo - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Volunteers needed for crab trap rodeo

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Photo courtesy: LDWF Photo courtesy: LDWF

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is looking for volunteers for its annual Derelict Crab Trap Rodeo.

This year's event will be on March 24 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) Center located at 8124 LA-56, Chauvin, LA 70433. 

The Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) will be providing lunch. 

Volunteers are needed to collect traps in the field, unload them at the dock, and count them as they are unloaded. 

Commercial crabbers are highly encouraged to participate; their experience with the local waters and ability to stack traps on their vessel is valuable. Event organizers will provide boat owners with the equipment needed to collect the traps; however, they are responsible for transporting traps in their vessels. 

Removing abandoned crab traps is a wet and dirty job, so please wear appropriate clothing and wet gear. Volunteers should bring their own personal floatation device, which should be worn at all times while on the water. A free t-shirt and lunch will be provided to all volunteers as a small token of appreciation for their help to keep our waterways free and clean of derelict crab traps.

Volunteers are encouraged to register in advance online: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/F9C2L2G

Only the department, or those assisting in the crab trap rodeo, may remove derelict traps within the designated area. Derelict traps must be brought to the designated disposal site and may not be taken from the area.  Furthermore, no one is authorized to access private property during the crab trap rodeo; individual landowners must provide authorization to access private property. 

The crab trap rodeo is part of LDWF’s Derelict Crab Trap Removal Program. LDWF initiated this program in 2004 to help address the abundance of derelict crab traps in public waters. Derelict, or discarded, lost, or abandoned traps, can incidentally catch and kill blue crabs and other species, interfere with other commercial fishing gear types, create navigation hazards, and reduce the aesthetics of our environment. 

The program is funded through commercial fishermen gear fees. Since its inception, program participants have removed and disposed of more than 33,000 derelict crab traps. 

For more information, click here.

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