From February 19th through the 28th, Texas coastal waters were closed to crabbing with wire mesh crab traps to facilitate the 3rd Annual Statewide Volunteer Crab Trap Cleanup. This closure allowed for the legal removal on February 25, of any crab traps which remained in the water.
A total of 28 abandoned crab traps were collected and removed from Wallisville Lake Project waters by the team, which included natural resource specialists Eric Angle, David Mackintosh, Brandon Moehrle and Mark Tyson. In its third year, the annual crab trap removal day has been highly effective at reducing the overall number of abandoned crab traps across the 23,000-acre project.
“Thanks to a low tide, we were able to remove a large amount of crab traps that would usually be hidden on the bottom underwater” said Galveston District Natural Resource Specialist Mark Tyson. Many of the traps that end up abandoned on the Project are not the result of negligence on the part of local crabbers.
“High water events and strong currents can cause crab traps to drift away from the area where they were originally placed,” said Tyson.
Once adrift from their origin these crab traps can become a hazard. Abandoned crab traps pose an entrapment risk to aquatic and terrestrial wildlife while also negatively impacting recreational users primarily through damage to outboard boat motors.