LDWF clarifies new license requirement for roadside crabbing

Published 3:55 pm Tuesday, June 7, 2022

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The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has experienced a high volume of questions regarding the new license requirement for roadside crabbing.

In response, LDWF is offering more explanation regarding the changes.

Prior to going into effect on June 1, individuals did not have license requirements to crab from the side of the road with either set nets or strings.

Here’s why the change was implemented. Without a license requirement, it was difficult for the Office of Fisheries to determine how many people were participating in this fishery and the impact the harvest had on the crab population. To that end, the department now requires the roadside crabbing community to purchase a Hook and Line or Saltwater Fishing License.

The $5 Hook and Line license is for any individual fishing without a mechanical reel or crabbing with a string or set net.

Roadside crabbing is also included in the Saltwater Fishing License. (If individuals purchase a Saltwater Fishing License, a Hook and Line License is not required. Please note, individuals must purchase a Freshwater Fishing License in order to purchase the Saltwater Fishing License.)

The purchase of a Saltwater Fishing License also includes privileges for up to 10 recreational crab traps. Please remember to mark/tag your crab trap with your LDWF license number.

Crabbing from an LDWF-operated property, such as a Wildlife Management Area, a Refuge, or a Conservation Area, also requires the purchase of a WMA Access Permit and a free self-clearing permit.

All crabbers are still allowed to harvest up to 12 dozen crabs a day.

LDWF hopes this information clears up the confusion. The data that we collect from these fishermen and their harvest will provide better information for our blue crab stock assessment.

Here are more combinations:

To go “string and net” crabbing, you either need:

  • Hook and Line License or
  • Saltwater License (which also requires the purchase of a Freshwater License) or
  • Sportsman’s Paradise License or
  • Lifetime License or
  • Senior License

To go crabbing on a WMA, you need:

  • One of the license options listed above AND
  • Self-Clearing Permit AND
  • WMA Permit (Not required if you already have a Sportsman’s Paradise License, Lifetime License or a Senior License)


  • A freshwater license can be purchased alone
  • To purchase a saltwater license, you must also purchase a Freshwater license