I’ve spent this evening getting Crayfish traps ready for use. It’s incredible that the most widely used traps on the market don’t catch the tiny juvenile crayfish as their mesh size is too big. Scientific studies elsewhere have shown a significant increase in effectiveness is achieve by covering the traps in a 1/4″ mesh. I’ve gone further and am covering 50% of all our the traps in a plastic mosquito mesh. This will allow us to scientifically assess the difference between the OEM traps and those we modify. I just don’t understand why Trappy Traps aren’t made with finer mesh.

As the nights draw in, my kitchen serves as a workshop. Here are some Trappy Crayfish Traps in the process of receiving our modifications. Hopefully we will soon have somewhere we can work on wet days or dark nights. More on this next month as we are likely to be relocating office in the very near future.

This modification should improve our survey’s effectiveness and may reduce the time we need to spend on the water monitoring our traps.  The additional preparation is time consuming but the results may prove beneficial in the long run. What we aim to do is confirm the presence of American Signal Crayfish as quickly as possible and identify how many different year classes we are able to  trap.   
Trapping American Signal Crayfish requires a license from Scottish Government and is only permitted for scientific purposes. It is illegal to do this without a license as is releasing them into the wild. Any we do catch must be killed on site after recording their details. All equipment will be thoroughly checked before removing from the site to reduce the risk of cross contamination. We will disinfect and adopt check clean and dry protocols. 
It is sad that anyone takes it on themselves to move this species around and for for their own purposes. It won’t make fishing better and in fact brings multiple problems. Once introduced, it is virtually impossible to ever remove them. 
We will provide more information on this trapping project in due course once we’ve completed our surveys.