Abandoned Crab Trap Removal


As part of the Abandoned Crab Trap Removal Program, Galveston Bay Foundation and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) team up to remove derelict crab traps from Galveston Bay every February. Volunteers get on the water and work from land to collect traps, smash them down, and toss them into dumpsters. Removing these traps creates a cleaner bay, allows the ecologically and economically important blue crab to re-populate, reduces “ghost fishing” (abandoned traps continue to catch and kill a variety of organisms, such as the diamondback terrapin turtle), and protects larger animals like dolphins from becoming entangled in trap lines.

Bring Your Boat To Abandoned Crab Trap Removal 2018
We will be hosting crab trap removal events at two locations on SaturdayFebruary 17th from 9am to 1pm at sites in Anahuac and Bolivar. Though we are currently filled up for land-based volunteer assistance, boaters are encouraged to participate on the water to collect and bring in traps. Read on for more details about volunteering you and your boat for crab trap removal.

GOT A BOAT? Here’s How You Can Help This Removal Period:

From February 16 – 25, 2018, Texas crab trapping is closed and all crab traps must be removed and out of Texas waters by law. As a boater and good Samaritan, you can help by removing any traps you come across during this closure period. If you’re out fishing, boating for fun, etc. during this closure period, here’s how you can help:

  • If you see a crab trap in the water, washed up on a shore, etc. you can pull that trap onto your boat if safe to do so.
  • Even if the trap is clean and tagged, all traps must be removed during the closure period (whether by a good Samaritan or by the trap owner).
  • Please release any animals found in the traps, then destroy the traps/smash the traps and take them to a designated trap drop location. Locations around Galveston Bay include the TPWD Marine Lab in Dickinson, Stingaree Restaurant and Marina in Bolivar, and Fort Anahuac Park in Anahuac.
  • Saturday, February 17th will be the busiest day of trap collection, so you can bring your boat and join us that day at Stingaree Restaurant and Marina in Bolivar or at Fort Anahuac Park in Anahuac to collect traps! Please contact Emily Ford at eford@galvbay.org if you plan to participate on February 17th.

About the State-Wide Abandoned Crab Trap Removal Program:
The Texas Abandoned Crab Trap Removal Program came into effect in 2001 in response to increased pressure on blue crab populations, and increased incidences of ghost fishing resulting in death or injury to a variety of aquatic organisms. The program includes a 10-day crab trap closure period, and any traps left in the water during the closure are considered litter and are removed and disposed of. Learn more about the program.

Recognizing our Past Sponsors and Partners:
2018 Abandoned Crab Trap Sponsors