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A Bit of History: Wooden Traps

When the Maine Lobstermen's Association was founded in 1954, lobstermen used wooden traps to catch lobsters. Many lobstermen made those traps themselves during the winter months, using oak lathes cut on their own land.

Steaming oak lathes for the season's traps.

In the late 1970s, lobstermen slowly began to change over to plastic-coated wire traps. Wire traps required less maintenance and were lighter out of water (about 40 lbs. vs. 125 lbs.) than wet wooden traps, yet heavier in the water thus less prone to floating around on the bottom. Setting a wooden trap was a lot easier than hauling it back, by hand!

Photos courtesy of the Penobscot Marine Museum.


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