Cleaning traps

F/V First Team

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Probably pressure washing them. I've heard rumors (and seen the devices) of the propane-fired hot tanks that you put on deck and submerge the traps in them to cook the stuff off. There is also the same tank method only full of water with some bags of salt dissolved in there (about 3-5 depending on how much stirring you want to do), this too will kill the stuff. Do it before your last trip or two and the wave action should finish scrubbing off the growth.
 

F/V First Team

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1010TrapCooker.jpg



Bryant Kennedy’s trap cooker measures 5 feet x 3 feet x 28 inches. Fishermen report the tank operates easily on board where traps are cleaned faster and more effectively than other options.

Running any business in the black means constant attention to more improvements and fewer costs. This is particularly true for lobster fishermen trying to keep more of what they paid for what costs more to catch every year.

Bryant Kennedy of Kennedy Marine in Steuben, Maine, has been building what he calls a trap cooker that yields a few improvements. While it is not exactly a better mouse trap, it does make mouse traps work better.

Kennedy builds a tank to wash lobster traps. The tank heats sea water to 170 to 185 degrees. When a trap is dipped in the tank for 10 to 15 seconds, that’s all it takes to kill, grass, barnacles, bacteria, or whatever has accumulated on a trap that lives most of its life underwater.

Some of the stuff falls off in the tank, but the rest of it is wiped off after a couple of hauls. The transition from 40 degree water to 185 degree water and back to 40 degree sea water is just too much for anything clinging to a lobster trap.

Fishermen report that clean traps fish better. “They are not sure why, but they do. It may be the grasses or bacteria effect trap performance,†said Kennedy. They also come up through the water column easier and faster, and are also easier and lighter to handle.

Bryant Kennedy does all the hardware and metal work at Kennedy Marine, his brother Roger handles the engine work. A fisherman asked him to build him tank to wash traps and that is how he got started. Kennedy based his first “cooker†on one he had seen, made changes he thought would improve it, and has continued to make improvements over the four years he has been building them.

The tank is heated with a propane burner that generates a whopping 500,000BTU that heats the approximately 243 gallons of water up to temperature in 50 minutes. Most fishermen wash their traps twice a year. Sometimes two or three fishermen will go in on a cooker. “Six guys from Swan’s Island just bought one. They have a 400-trap limit out there.†Kennedy said.

“Guys used to have a copper coil from their engine to a fiberglass tank on the boat where they could dip their traps. But the new Type II engines are so efficient they run too cool to heat the water hot enough. The new tank is also quicker than pressure washing and does not beat up traps the way a pressure washer can,†said Kennedy.

The Department of Marine Resources is also trying to get fishermen away from using bleach to clean gear.

The tanks are 3/16†aluminum and the heat-transfer tube that runs through the tank is stainless steel. When empty, the tank is pretty easy to move around. Kennedy has built about 50 tanks so far. He has customers from Prince Edward Island to south of Boston.
 

BillD

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What's the best way to clean my lobster traps before putting away for the winter?

Thanx

Tuna,

Last fall I put them in the "backyard" "dirty,full of small mussels etc., stunk to high heavens but no biggee, rural yard.

On the way to the marina this spring I stopped @ the local car wash with a bunch of quarters.

Pressure washed the "dead stuff" off easily, nice and clean for this season. :D

FWIW, Bill D
 

steveinak

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Tuna,

Last fall I put them in the "backyard" "dirty,full of small mussels etc., stunk to high heavens but no biggee, rural yard.

On the way to the marina this spring I stopped @ the local car wash with a bunch of quarters.

Pressure washed the "dead stuff" off easily, nice and clean for this season. :D

FWIW, Bill D

Catch any critters in the backyard ??? We used to do good on possums and cats ???
 

JimRP31

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Why are you pulling them out so early. I used the Bill D method, except I use my own pressure washer.
 

jwalka51

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Change your vents to crab vents, then bait the traps and set them on top of some nice deep sandy bottom, let em soak for a week. The sand crabs will pretty much scrub them completely clean for you.
 

Roy-c

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Have been using a hot tank for several years now and they work great. You do need to dip the traps before they get a lot of growth on them so the tidal action can rinse off the dead growth. That can take up to a week or so if not in a heavy tide area. We dip 2 to 3 times in a Summer but we get a huge amount of growth if we are fishing inside.
 

richardh

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to many
salt the hell out of them when you have them on the boat and before you take them off hit them with the hose
 

gordfraser

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thread resurrection....

I am searching this for potential use on my oyster farm.

I cant decide whether to make a dip tank to dip my oysergro cages, or to add a salt water pressure washer to one of my boats to clean them up.

barnacles are a big problem. I dont see the dip tank removing them. killing them yes, but i would still have to scrape off the dead shells in my imagination.

any experience?

G

"Merry" xmas
 

Mvywheels

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I have a hydro pressure washer on board and just blast em when I see growth and junk starting to build up. It was a little pricey but totally worth it keeping the gear nice. Merry Christmas guys!
 
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