If you enjoy eating fresh boiled crabs, get your fix this weekend because they won’t be available for about the next month.
Starting Monday, Feb. 20, the commercial harvest of blue crabs in Louisiana waters and the use of all crab traps will be prohibited for a 30-day period.
According to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, all crab traps must be removed from all state waters, including the three-mile territorial seas.
During the closure period, LDWF will conduct derelict crab trap cleanups across the Louisiana coast, and traps discovered during the closure will be presumed as actively fishing and considered illegal.
Starting on Jan. 1, the state instituted a ban on the commercial harvest of immature female blue crabs (except those being held for processing of softshell crabs.) That ban, along with an annual 30-day closure slated to begin on the third Monday in February, will continue through 2019.
The management measures, enacted last summer by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission, are aimed at reducing fishing pressure on the state’s blue crab stock.