Oyster Dredge

Discussion in 'Commercial Fishermen's Forum' started by El Mar, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. El Mar

    El Mar Captain

    So, some of you know I'm a shop teacher.

    One of my projects this year has been building an oyster dredge with a few of my kids for a Marine Science and Technology class that I teach.

    We work closely with our local shellfish comission, some of you may have seen the 20' Scow we built. The last 2 seasons we have been dredging a little on local oyster beds to see what comes up with an old dredge someone gave us. We rebuilt it but also copied it to make another one.

    I am at the point where I need to buy some netting and chain male or chain netting for the bottom? Where can I get this stuff and what is the correct terminology. I'm a total novice at this and doing it more for the experience of the kids. Any pointers greatly appreciated.

    Some pics....

    The old dredge.

    Attached Files:

    BillD likes this.
  2. El Mar

    El Mar Captain

    The new dredge in need of parts. Please let me know if you guys with experiece see something wrong. Going to be towed behind our scow.

    The "claws" on the bottom will definitely be made shorter.

    Attached Files:

  3. Tunascapes

    Tunascapes Senior Member

    I don't have much info that you are looking for but it seems that programs you are involved in really are great. Real life hands on projects always seem to get People involved. I'm sure the kids love it.
  4. El Mar

    El Mar Captain

    Some do some don't. :D:D

    Some pics of it in use.

    Attached Files:

  5. steveinak

    steveinak Captain

    You can get the rings(scallop rings) and open links(scallop links) to connect them from one of the supply houses in New Bedford in fact i'd bet if you gave them the measurements of the chain mat they could make it up for you and even attach the twine top to it. The reason i'm saying to have it made up is the link closer is a expensive tool to buy for such a small job. Maybe check with Wilcox they are a bit closer to you.

    Wilcox Marine Supply Inc

    (860) 536-4206
    30 Wilcox Rd
    Stonington, CT 06378

    You also might think about attaching a length of rope with a small buoy on it to the "club" on the back of the bag that way if you get the dredge hung down on a snag you could pull it free from the back end.
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2012
    Captlvb likes this.
  6. Pedlyr

    Pedlyr Senior Member

    Steve is on it.....The "clubstick" is the wooden piece attached to the bag. Want to make sure that is not broken or bent for the dredge to fish right.

    BTW, your twine top is "hung" cross twine. That means the knots are pulling sideways. It should be turned 90 deg from what you have. You also may want to try to find out what your hanging "ratio" is. i.e. what size piece of twine to cut.

    2:1 means the meshes are twice as long as wide. So if you buy 4" twine (stretched mesh measured so the side knots touch) that means you seize a mesh every 2" across the top.
    El Mar likes this.
  7. burley

    burley Member

    Instead of the cutlinks to hold the rings together you could use s links and use a pliers to close them

    Attached Files:

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  8. El Mar

    El Mar Captain

    Thanks for the info guys, keep it comming.

    As you can see, we cobbled the old dredge back together with zip ties and chain links.

    The "club" was broke, so we made that one from a 2x4.

    I have plenty of man power, (students) so my plan is to make the lower chain net out of open links from chain we have on hand. Any suggestion how we can make the netting cheaply or sustitute something? This is a public school, so funding is a little tight (non-existant).

    Anywhere local to me that I can get an old trawl net? Does that stuff get thrown out or is it mended? I would think a square yard would do it.

  9. burley

    burley Member

    alot of our twine tops here are hand tied. a spool of heavy twine , a large net needle and go for it. we tie long top meshes and get smaller as we get closer to the chain bag. tends to let some empty shell out the top of the bag and it is eaiser to dump.
  10. El Mar

    El Mar Captain

    Any pointers on how to do that?? Maybe a book, website or youtube video??

    Pics would help too.

    Thanks for the info!!
    eb tide likes this.
  11. burley

    burley Member

    hard to help from here. we just learn from the old timers . that is all they knew. My dad would sew every parlour and kitchen ,for lobster pots many years ago. Then came machine run netting, then we even went to plastic kitchens. find an old comm.fisherman near you .I would bet he could sew that twine top in in about an hour or two.
  12. steveinak

    steveinak Captain

    You Tube is your friend!! I think i've seen some vids on net making on there. I'd knit you a top if i was closer but its a easy job if you know what your doing(like most things). You might be able to reuse the top you have if its still in god shape. Try calling some of the supply houses i mentioned and maybe they will donate a piece of twine for a top, just measure the mesh size, center of knot to center of knot with the mesh pulled tight(diamond shape) then count the meshes across the top and down one side to give them the size you'll need. The top looks like its aprox 13 meshes wide x 7 meshes deep to me by looking at the picture.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2012
  13. Pedlyr

    Pedlyr Senior Member

    Wilcox used to have a twine loft, don't know if they are still open.
  14. pross1492

    pross1492 Member

    El Mar, its been about two years since you build the dredge. I'm going to build one myself. I'm wondering how yours is working? Would you change anything about the design? Do you have the dimensions you used? Thanks!
  15. El Mar

    El Mar Captain

    Dredge works fine for what we do, but I am far from a commercial operation. I pull the thing a few times a year with high school kids studying Marine Science and Technology. so for us its about ease of operation and allowing the kids to run the thing, not necessarily efficiency.

    Maybe some of the commercial guys on the site could chime in.

    I still need netting if anyone has some old stuff laying around.
  16. petrel

    petrel Captain

    I missed this thread a couple years ago. That's good stuff you're doing up there.
    Badlatitude likes this.
  17. Prdlobster

    Prdlobster Senior Member

    El Mar...what size twine are you looking for? Looks like 4" from the pics. I can get you what you need let me know...PM if you want.
  18. googinhater

    googinhater Captain

    Elmar what size is the mesh i may have some i know i have 6 1/2 and 6 not shore about the other sizes think some 3 1/2. But let me know what you need i have to go to ri soon could meet up
    El Mar likes this.
  19. pugsley

    pugsley Captain

    you can tie your own, it's pretty easy, but if you wanted to use some the 3 1/2 or 4 would do it, 6 would be too big. when you do this in the living room, it's best to put some plastic under the rusty dredge parts.

    Attached Files:

    El Mar likes this.
  20. pugsley

    pugsley Captain

    i wouldn't make those teeth like spikes, bend too easy, and stab too much stuff.

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