The Guadalupe River is one of the most biologically diverse rivers in the USA.
An active crab fishery exists in the bays along the Texas coast, with thousands of traps being deployed to harvest crabs, primarily blue crabs. An unfortunate result of this fishery is lost or abandoned traps. These untended traps continue to entrap and kill sea life – a problem referred to as “ghost fishing.” In addition, these traps create user conflicts, visual pollution and possibly have negative effects on sensitive habitats.
To address this problem, the Abandoned Crab Trap Removal Program was created by Texas Senate Bill 1410 during the 77th (2001) Legislative session, granting authority to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to establish, by rule, a ten-day crab fishery closure that begins the third Friday of each February. Crab traps left in the water during this time are considered litter and may be collected and disposed of appropriately by anyone. The law resulted in many grassroots volunteer efforts to collect abandoned traps from Texas bays. However, despite the efforts of volunteers over the years, the problems still exist, and much more work needs to be done to clear Texas bays of abandoned, lost or derelict crab traps.
For several years, GBRT has assisted with the annual crab trap pickup activities in the San Antonio Bay area. Along with other partners, donors and sponsors, GBRT is excited and honored to be a part of this effort.