Crab Trap Removal Program

Thank you for your interest in volunteering for the comprehensive and systematic cleanup of the Aransas, Copano, San Antonio, and Espiritu Santo bay systems.

Below are several things you should know about the crab trap clean-up:

  1. Closure Period – Friday Feb 22- Sunday March 1, 2020
    • Friday Feb 22 – Aerial reconnaissance takes place
    • Saturday Evening Feb 23 – A celebratory party at Hooper’s in Port O’Connor for Saturday Kickoff of cleanup efforts is planned. Happy Hour 5pm; dinner at 6pm. Bring your spouse or friend; please RSVP with number in your group (we don’t want to run out of food!)- RSVP to Allan Berger at
    • Volunteer opportunities continue for the closure period.
    • Saturday, Feb 29 is bad weather fallback for Saturday Feb 22.
    • TPWD collection locations for Aransas and Copano Bays:
      1. Goose Island State Park boat ramp
      2. Conn Brown Harbor (Aransas Pass) boat ramp
      3. Random Park (Aransas Pass) boat ramp
    • Please follow instructions at the specific collection points for details on disposing of the traps.
  2. Data Collection
    • TPWD requires only # traps and effort expended. Data There is a data sheet linked below.
    • In order to begin addressing root causes, we are asking all boats to mark the specific location of each collected trap, characterize the location, and count entrapment.
    • Requires download of a free App to utilize USFW ARC-GIS technology and signup with your email. The app was tested last year and found to be user friendly, but it was suggested a crew member be assigned a Data role.
    • The app will also make available to boats the results of the aerial recon scheduled for Friday, Feb 21 for the SA Bay and Aransas Bay Systems.
    • Data to be collected (preliminary)
      1. Location per Collector App GPS
      2. Owner or No Tag
      3. Characteristics
        • on shoreline
        • on shore
        • abandoned in place
      4. Float: yes or no
      5. Entrapment / number:
        • blue crab
        • stone crabs
        • fish: sheepshead, drum, etc.
        • diamondback terrapin (alive or dead?)
        • sea turtles (alive or dead?)
        • other: text
    • Training materials are being developed and will be sent out closer to the removal event
  3.   Rules for the Day
    • Be Safe
    • Have Fun
    • Get free equipment. We will have hooks & gloves & snippers. Let me know how I might get them to your crew.
    • Binoculars are helpful!
    • Start when you want. On your way out, start picking up traps after you have arrived on your route. On the way back, pick up anything you see. Other boats not associated with the systematic effort may be in your area—the more help the better.
    • Fill the dumpsters at TPWD sponsored locations (listed above for Aransas and Caopano areas). Follow instructions at collection location on how to leave the traps (i.e., place in the dumpster or leave in roped off area) 
    • Don’t be late for dinner/party in POC!
    • Be able to answer the questions below via email or at the Party :
      1. Boat Owner and crew members names and cities, and any Affiliation (CCA, TMN, …)
      2. Estimated hours on the water:
      3. Route covered, including any extra.
        • Any of your assigned route not completed? (so that it can be covered during the week)
        • will ask for Google Earth kmz file of approx. route
      4. Number of Traps picked up
        • Where deposited- GISP, Conn Brown, Ransom, other?  
        •  Did TPWD take the count? (to avoid double counts)
      5. What did you see during the day that you find interesting and want to share with the group?
      6. When we do this again next year, what improvements would you suggest?
  4.  Routes / Search
    1. The map below shows the composite of the routes and the table contains location descriptions. Areas should include both the shorelines and transect across the open water.

To sign-up for the Aransas Bay Routes, contact Stephen Ford, FlatsWorthy, at; 936-203-0700. We are seeking volunteers for all the Aransas and Copano Bay systems.

To sign-up for San Antonio Bay (not shown) routes, contact Allan Berger, San Antonio Bay Partnership, at

To sign-up for Lavaca Bay (not shown), contact Janet Weaver, Lavaca Bay Foundation, at; 361-920-0818

To signup for Matagorda Bay (not shown), contact Bill Balbo, Matagorda Bay Foundation at; 361-781-2171