For thousands of years (at least 9,000 according to archaeologists) humans have been fishing with traps, fashioned from straight rods of hazel and willow. This style of trap has been found throughout the globe, used by a wide variety of indigenous cultures from Native Americans & First Nations to Vikings and our own British ancestors.
And its not just willow and hazel – this fantastic trap (photos and vine below) are made from bamboo!
I’ve seen a wide variety of fish traps in museum collections. The photos below are from the British Museum in London, the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford and the Peabody Museum, Boston:
Making traditional fish traps has been on my list of things to do for a while now… I started with a simple two-ended crayfish trap (based on the design of standard crayfish traps with a cylinder-shape, cones at both ends and a hatch to remove caught crayfish. I’m hoping to try it out shortly and will post the results! *You need a licence from the Environment Agency to trap alien crayfish, and a licence from Natural England to trap/survey for native white-clawed crayfish.
More fish trap designs to follow!