Abandoned Crab Trap Program

Sab RatIn 2017 San Antonio Bay Partnership (SABP) began participating Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Abandoned Crab Trap Removal Program to help clean the bays of abandoned crab traps. Now, each February during the crabbing closure period, SABP organizes the volunteer efforts in and around Espiritu Santo and San Antonio Bays and we work with partnering organizations to clean up surrounding bay systems too, including:

With the help of donating organizations and grants, SABP provides supplies, training and an after party. On the first Friday of the closure period, weather permitting, a reconnaissance plane flies the bays with a volunteer who marks the location of abandoned crab traps in a phone app. Our boat volunteers are assigned to cover specific areas and use the Collector app to see the location of traps marked by aerial recon and to mark all the traps they remove. Trap owner information and entrapped critters are recorded. Analysis of this data has helped to inform us about the reasons for trap dereliction and potential solutions.

2023 Abandoned Crab Trap Removal, Saturday, February 18

The crabbing closure period is Friday Feb 17 to Sunday Feb 26, 2023.  Help is needed throughout the closure, but Saturday Feb 18 will be the main mobilization day with  a celebratory party in Port O’Connor on Sat Feb 18. Weather backup date will be Saturday Feb 25.

Volunteers are needed throughout our mid-coast bays. To volunteer please contact your area’s coordinator.

  • Port O’Connor, Charlie’s, Seadrift, & Austwell contact Allan Berger 713-829-2852 allanrberger@outlook.com
  • Port Lavaca contact Janet Weaver 361-920-0818  info@lavacabay.org
  • Palacios & Matagorda contact Bill Balboa 361-781-2171  bbalboa@matbay.org
  • Rockport contact Katie Swanson 361-749-3106 katie.swanson@utexas.edu

2023 SABP Crab Trap Pickup Procedures

New Field Maps



Live Webinar Field Maps Training sessions

How To’s & Training

Other Links of Interest

2022 Abandoned Crab Trap Removal Results

Past Years

NOAA Marine Debris Program, Project 2118