Dataset: winter flounder traps metadata
Deployment: NEC-KP2004-1

Experimental winter flounder trap study, coastal Maine, 2005-2006: trap deployment metadata
Principal Investigator: 
Co-Principal Investigator: 
Dr Pingguo He (University of New Hampshire, UNH/OPAL)
BCO-DMO Data Manager: 
Nancy Copley (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, WHOI BCO-DMO)

Winter Flounder Traps: Exploring The Potential For Environmentally-Friendly Access To Groundfish In Coastal Maine

final report, by Kelo Pinkham and Catherine Salerno.

This dataset describes the metadata associated with the winter flounder trap study


The goal of this project was to explore the feasibility of a seasonal commercial winter flounder trap fishery in Maine's inshore waters. Experimental flounder traps with two different opening designs were tested. In one design, a standard crab hoop was used. In the other trap design, a smaller (restricted) opening was used in an attempt to exclude a higher proportion of bycatch, particularly legal sized lobsters. A total of 1160 traps were hauled over 33 trips during three different seasons: early summer, early winter, and late spring. The highest catch rates of winter flounder occurred in late spring although overall catch rates were low, an average of less than half of a pound of flounder per trap. The restricted opening design reduced the bycatch of legal sized lobsters compared to the traps with the standard opening during one field season, but results from the second field season were inconclusive. While catch rates in this experiment were not high enough to justify the development of a commercial fishery at this time, results were encouraging and should be used to direct further experimental testing. Future work should focus on setting the traps in areas of higher winter flounder abundance, exploring seasonal timing of a potential fishery, testing alternative bait types and refining trap opening design.

More information about this dataset deployment