2019 LDWF Commercial Fishing Regs - Page 14



Seasons
The Commission is considering adopting a proposed rule prohibiting the commercial harvest of mature female blue crabs in Louisiana waters
beginning the second Monday in September and lasting for a 35-day period. Please contact your local LDWF office to ensure that the harvest
regulations have not changed for the 2019 blue crab harvest season. Please check online for most recent regulations: www.wlf.la.gov/fishing/
commercial-fishing.
The Commission may also prohibit the use of crab traps in certain areas for short periods of time to remove lost or abandoned traps through the
Derelict Crab Trap Removal Program. Visit www.wlf.la.gov/fishing/derelict-crab-trap-removal for the latest information.
Size Limits
Any commercial fisherman identified as having sold undersized crabs
to a wholesale/retail dealer will be subject to penalties for taking and
possessing undersized crabs.
Hard Shell Crabs: You may only harvest crabs 5 inches carapace
width or wider. Since at least half of the crab population has sexually
matured at this size, this minimum size limit helps ensure crabs are
able to reproduce and replace those that are harvested. You must
immediately return crabs smaller than 5 inches wide back to the water
without injury.
Immature Female Crabs: The commercial harvest of immature female
blue crab is banned, except when an immature female is in the premolt stage and is being held for processing as soft shell crab or sold to
a processor for making soft shell crab.
Pre-molt Crabs*: You may harvest pre-molt crabs smaller than 5
inches carapace width under the following conditions:
• You are holding them for processing as soft shell crabs OR
• You are selling them to a processor for making soft shell crabs,
have properly identified them as pre-molt crabs and are holding
them in a separate container marked “peelers” or “busters.”
*Pre-molt crabs are crabs showing signs of molting; the first sign is a
white line on the back paddle fin.
Stone Crabs: You may only harvest stone crab claws. The claws must
measure at least 2-3/4 inches from the tip of the claw to the base
of the joint. You may only transfer legal size stone crab claws from a
vessel to the shore. You may keep whole stone crabs on a vessel until
you have removed their claws; then you must immediately return the
crabs to the waters where you harvested them.
Possession Limits
Egg-bearing Crabs: You may not harvest any female crabs in the
berry stage (when they are carrying eggs or young attached to the
abdomen). You must immediately return all crabs in the berry stage
to the water without injury to protect this next generation of crabs.
However, a legally licensed commercial fisherman may have, in the
fisherman’s workbox only, an incidental take of not more than 2%
total crabs in the berry stage.
Immature Female Crabs: No more than 2% of a random sample of 50
crabs from each crate (or group of crabs equivalent to one crate) in
your possession may be incidentally harvested immature female crabs.
Whole Stone Crabs: You may only harvest stone crab claws; you may
possess one incidentally harvested whole stone crab per crate of blue
crabs (or group of blue crabs equivalent to one crate).
Tagging Requirements
You must tag, mark or otherwise identify any crabs you sell with your name, license number and the date you harvested the crabs.
Bycatch Limits
You may retain for personal consumption up to 25 finfish in aggregate caught as bycatch in crab traps per vessel per day. However, you may not
keep any freshwater gamefish, red drum or spotted seatrout. Any fish you keep are still subject to recreational size and possession limits.
If you have a gear license which allows you to take finfish for commercial purposes, you may keep any finfish you catch under this license, up to
the commercial possession limit for that fish. You do not have to separate this catch from the bycatch described above.
Crab Trap Requirements
Night
Restrictions
You may not bait, tend, check or remove crab traps, their contents, lines, buoys or markers in public waters from 1/2hour after legal sunset until 1/2-hour before legal sunrise.
Trap Placement
You must place your traps so vessels can safely navigate waters. Do not set them in navigable channels or entrances to
streams.
Unserviceable
Traps
• You must properly dispose of unserviceable crab traps back at the dock to reduce the risk and potential impact of
derelict traps.
• If you retrieve a trap with a Commission-approved common float, you must return that float to any shrimper for
reuse.
Damage to or
Destruction of
Traps
Unless you are the crab trap licenseholder (or his agent), you may not intentionally damage or destroy a crab trap,
attached floats or lines or its contents.
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