Pay To Crab Trap

In just under three weeks, those of you who are recreational crab fishermen and use crab traps to do that fishing will need a license.

Mississippi is joining Florida, Louisiana and Texas as the Gulf states that require this license for recreational crab trapping. The Department of Marine Resources will use the number of registered license holders as a monitoring device.

"The coast is growing, and so are the number of recreational crabbers," DMR spokesperson Lauren Thompson said. "The recreational crab trap license will provide valuable data to help us to manage our blue crab resource in Mississippi."

The $5 fee will only apply to recreational crab trappers between the ages of 16 and 65, and the license is only for crab traps and not the drop nets. Each fee that is collected will only be used to process the license, but the data it will provide should prove valuable.

"Right now, no data exists at all, and we really want to take a look at the kind of stress being placed on the crab population so that we can better manage that resource," Thompson said.

Jimmy Smithie is a recreational crab trapper, and he thinks the liscenses are a good idea.

"I think we need the agencies to monitor what we're doing to help ensure we have these recreational facilities in the future," Smithie said. "I have a grandson who likes to go crabbing, and we're looking forward to everything being there when he wants to enjoy it."

Much like the recreational fishing licenses that are already required by the DMR, the new crap trap license is just another way the agency can help to protect and enhance the public's fun on our waterways. The license will be required starting May 1st and you can get one at the DMR located on Bayview Drive in Biloxi. If you have any questions, you can call them at 374-5000.