LDWF team works to rid waterways of abandoned crab traps

LDWF team works to rid waterways of abandoned crab traps

VINTON, LA (KPLC) - In the early 2000′s, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries started a yearly program called the derelict crab trap clean up.

A team would travel the waterways around the state to detect and get rid of abandoned crab traps.

George Melancon, a biologist manager for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, says the abandoned traps pose a real danger.

“Since 2004, they’ve collected over 37,000 traps out of the water statewide,” Melancon said. “If they remain in the water, they’re going to continue to catch wildlife. There also can be a navigational hazard for boaters when they get caught in their props and stuff like that."

Melancon says all the traps collected today are going to be crushed and thrown away.

Stuart Guillory is on the enforcement side of Wildlife and Fisheries and says a lot of the traps they have to pick up aren’t easy to find.

“It’s litter too; it’s trashing up the waterways and the waterway bottoms,” Guillory said. “If the float line gets away from them, you’ve got a crab trap that’s just sitting on the waterways. So, the department is equipped with different devices that we can get down and get the crab traps and get them up. Other fish can get in the crab traps because they aren’t being fished. They’re abandoned just sitting in the bottom. Crabs get in there, and they just stay in there and eventually die,” Guillory said.

“It’s just a waste,” Melancon said. “It’s a waste of our natural resources to continue to allow these traps to sit out there and continue to harm wildlife if nobody is manning them.”

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