Trapping Maine Lobster





Trapping Maine Lobster

Lobster traps, while made of different materials and designs over the years, all function in much the same way. Most newer traps found in the Gulf of Maine consist of a plastic-coated metal frame. A piece of bait, often fish, is placed inside the trap, and the traps are dropped onto the sea floor. A long rope is attached to each trap, at the end of which is a plastic or Styrofoam buoy that bears the owner's license number and unique color scheme. The traps are checked every other day by the lobsterman and re-baited if necessary.

Lobster traps have two inner compartments, known as the kitchen and the parlor. These are connected by doors. Lobsters enter through a door that leads to the kitchen, which is where the bait is. Once a lobster grabs a piece of bait in its claw, it exits the kitchen through a second door, which leads to the parlor, where the lobster becomes trapped. Both doors are funnel shaped, making them easy to enter but difficult to exit. By law each trap is required to have vents which allow smaller lobster (and other marine life) to escape the traps. In fact, many legal sized lobsters can and do escape through these vents.