Q:

How do you build a shrimp trap?

A:

One way to make a simple shrimp trap is to weave a capped funnel from sticks, bark and vines. These traps are also useful for catching fish and turtles. This one-hour project requires seven 6-foot saplings, several shorter saplings, willow bark strips, grapevines, a 12-foot pole, a bait ball and a utility knife.

  1. Bind the saplings

    Place the saplings around the 12-foot pole, and bind one end of the bundle together with strips of willow bark.

  2. Form the hoop

    Select a piece of sturdy grapevine about 6 feet long, bend it into a hoop, and tie the ends together with strips of willow bark. Insert the hoop at the open end of the sapling bundle, and secure it with willow bark. Remove the 12-foot pole. This completes the cone-shaped skeleton of the trap.

  3. Weave the body of the trap

    Start weaving at the narrow end of the cone. Thread thin strips of grapevine or willow bark between the saplings, leaving as little open space as possible. As the distance between the saplings increases, weave between them with thicker strips of bark or vine.

  4. Remove the hoop

    When you have woven about half of the trap, untie and remove the hoop. Continue weaving until you reach the ends of the saplings, and then tie the woven material to the saplings so the weaving does not unravel.

  5. Form the cap

    To make the cone cap, cut five 3-foot lengths of sapling. Drive them into the ground at an angle, forming a cone with the narrow end at the bottom. Leave 4 inches of space at the middle of the narrow end. The diameter of the larger opening should be about the same as the large end of the trap body. Weave the cap together with grapevines and thin bark strips.

  6. Nest the cones

    Pull the cap out of the ground, and pull out the stakes. When you are ready to plant the trap, hang a bait ball inside the narrow end of the trap body, then nestle the cap inside the body as if you were stacking ice cream cones. Tie the cap to the body, and place the trap in the water.


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