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TPWD News Release — Feb. 5, 2010

Abandoned Crab Trap Drop-off Sites Announced

CORPUS CHRISTI — Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials announced drop-off sites for the 8th Texas Abandoned Crab Trap Removal Program, scheduled this year from Feb. 19 to 28.

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 traps that have been lost or abandoned since last year’s cleanup.

To facilitate volunteer trap removal efforts this year, TPWD will provide facilitated trap drop-off sites at several locations along the coast Saturday, Feb. 20, from 8 a.m. to noon, weather permitting. Additionally, at all sites, dumpsters marked with banners will be available to receive traps for the duration of the closure.

Volunteers can work at their own pace during the closure as time and weather permit, but traps cannot be removed prior to Feb. 19 or after Feb 28. Last year, volunteers, with the aid of numerous sponsors, removed more than 1,900 traps bring the total removed since the program began to 25,974.

Thanks to the donations of the Coastal Conservation Association, Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries Program, and others,  volunteers can arrange to pick-up free tarps, gloves, trap hooks and additional information at their local TPWD Coastal Fisheries Field Stations. TPWD requests that volunteers record and submit information about the number of traps that they collect as well as any sightings of diamondback terrapins.  Also those removing traps within the boundary of the Redfish Bay State Scientific Area should be aware of crab trap floats marking prop scar study sites and should avoid removing these floats.

For more information about the Abandoned Crab Trap Removal Program and how you can volunteer, please contact your local TPWD Coastal Fisheries Office or Art Morris at the Corpus Christi Field Station: (361) 825-3356, art.morris@tpwd.texas.gov; or Tonya Wiley at the Dickinson Marine Lab: (281) 534-0131, tonya.wiley@tpwd.texas.gov.

* Sabine Lake — Local TPWD coordinator Jerry Mambretti (409) 983-1104

Galveston Bay — Local TPWD coordinator Bill Balboa (281) 534-0110

Matagorda Bay — Local TPWD coordinator Leslie Hartman (361) 972-6253

San Antonio Bay — Local TPWD coordinator Norman Boyd (361) 983-4425

Aransas Bay — Local TPWD coordinator Karen Meador (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

* Correction, Feb. 10, 2010: The original version of this news release omitted the list of drop-off sites. (Return to corrected item.)

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