The Abandoned Crab Trap Removal Program began in 2002 to remove abandoned crab traps during a ten-day closure implemented by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). During this period, any crab traps that are left in the water are considered abandoned and must be properly disposed of to prevent ghost fishing and damage to sensitive benthic habitats such as seagrass beds.
Volunteers help collect, unload, and count traps. Texas Sea Grant teams up with partner organization San Antonio Bay Partnership for the crab trap removal. Other partners that are instrumental in coordinating this effort and recruiting volunteers throughout the coast include the Matagorda Bay Foundation, Lavaca Bay Foundation, Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve, and Galveston Bay Foundation. Volunteers from a number of other local organizations, such as the Texas Master Naturalists, Coastal Conservation Association, TPWD, Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries Program, and many more also dedicate their time to the crab trap removal program.
If you are interested in volunteering for the next crab trap cleanup, contact a partner organization in your area from the list below:
- San Antonio Bay Partnership
- Lavaca Bay Foundation
- Matagorda Bay Foundation
- Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve
- Galveston Bay Foundation
- TPWD Field Stations (Sabine Lake, Galveston Bay, Matagorda Bay, San Antonio Bay, Aransas Bay & Corpus Christi Bay, Upper Laguna Madre, Lower Laguna Madre): contact information listed here