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TPWD News Release — Feb. 4, 2008
AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Coastal Fisheries Division officials have announced drop-off sites for the 7th Texas Abandoned Crab Trap Removal Program, running this year from Feb. 15-24.
During this 10-day period, all Texas bays will be closed to crabbing with crab traps and any traps left in the bay will be presumed to be abandoned and considered litter under state law, thus allowing volunteers to legally remove any crab traps they find.
Volunteers are needed to assist in the coast-wide effort to remove the numerous wire mesh cages used to catch crabs that have been lost or abandoned since last year’s cleanup and in years past.
To facilitate volunteer trap removal efforts this year, TPWD staff has designated sites in each of the eight major bay systems for trap collection.
Areas that are relatively free of abandoned traps will have stand-alone sites with dumpsters marked for trap removal.
In other areas where more effort is need, sites will be manned until noon on Saturday, Feb. 16, weather permitting, and have stand-alone dumpsters for the duration of the closure. For those who choose to work on their own, TPWD requests information about the number of traps that are collected.
Volunteers can work at their own pace during the closure as time and weather permit, but cannot remove traps before Feb. 15 or after Feb. 24. Any crabs found in the traps must be set free. Last year, volunteers with the aid of numerous sponsors removed more than 2,000 traps.
To participate, volunteers can pickup free tarps, gloves, trap hooks and additional information at each of the sites or their local TPWD Coastal Fisheries Field Stations.
(Facilitated sites will be manned from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Sat., Feb. 16)
Sabine Lake — Local TPWD coordinator Jerry Mambretti (409) 983-1104
Galveston Bay — Local TPWD coordinator Bill Balboa (281) 534-0100
Matagorda Bay — Local TPWD coordinator Josh Harper (361) 972-6253
San Antonio Bay — Local TPWD coordinator Norman Boyd (361) 983-4425
Aransas Bay — Local TPWD coordinator Dennis Pridgen (361) 729-2328
Corpus Christi Bay — Local TPWD coordinator Tom Wagner (361) 729-2328
Upper Laguna Madre — Local TPWD coordinator Todd Neahr (361) 825-3353
Lower Laguna Madre — Local TPWD coordinator Mark Lingo (956) 350-4490