Evaluation of Wire Catfish Traps for Commercial Fishing in Central Florida Lakes

Two types of commercial wire catfish traps were fished in lakes Dora and Eustis between January and May 1984. Catches at shoreline and offshore fishing sites were evaluated for both trap types. Door throat traps harvested 4.1 catfish, 0.6 game fish, and 0.1 non-game fish per trap day. Open throat traps harvested 0.8 catfish, 0.6 game fish, and 0.2 non-game fish per day. Door throat traps were 5.7 times more efficient at harvesting catfish than open throat traps. Overall, shoreline fishing sites yielded more fish (catfish, game fish, and non-game fish) than offshore sites. Initial mortality was greatest among non-game species (97.8% for gizzard shad), followed by non-harvestable game fish, catfish, and harvestable game fish. Mortality was greatest in door traps and was correlated with density of fish in traps (r = 66).

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