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Author Topic: Muskrat waters  (Read 565 times)

Offline Luna butte

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Muskrat waters
« on: December 29, 2017, 06:59:49 PM »
What type of water do you find muskrats? Slow swampy type? Fast clear Rapids? I'm going to try setting some colony traps but don't know if they live in the water behind my house. It's a small river that I've seen beavers in but it seems really fast and clear compared to the stuff I see in most YouTube videos concerning muskrat trapping. My son has been pretty gung-ho on this trapping business but I'm afraid We'd starve if I depended on catching anything for food.

I found a bunch of muskrats down on some army corp of engineers land but was denied permission to trap on that land as it was deemed "semi recreational use"

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Re: Muskrat waters
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2017, 09:21:32 PM »
W WA rats, you probably need to being seeing cattails and slow to stagnant water. It can be tough to find many rats on this side of the State. Too many predators. Otters, mink, hawks, owls, Everybody loves a muskrat snack.
Bruce Vandervort

Offline Luna butte

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Re: Muskrat waters
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2017, 12:33:49 AM »
I'm in south central Wa. More desert than rain forest around here. This afternoon I scouted an area with a bunch of mrat sign and secured permission from the land owner, he seemed worried that the mrats would get after the fish he planted. I'm not convinced the rats would get after his fish but I didn't talk him out of giving me the go ahead.

Online JakeLand

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Re: Muskrat waters
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2017, 04:54:39 AM »
Last year I trapped a bunch of rats down in enumclaw and it just was too deep for swim through cages so I used small mink cages baited with apple chunks . I dug a shelf about 2" underthe water where I set the cage and completely covered it with long grass and bam was catching muskrats very easily

Offline Norman89

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Re: Muskrat waters
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2017, 09:10:55 AM »
I have found them in nearly every water condition on the west side now. From small creeks five feet wide and a foot deep to large rivers marsh bog and secluded ponds all have held rats. From Cumberland enumclaw area to the nisqually river in randle to Roy  and everywhere in between. But slower moving water seems to be the key for quantity of rats. Lots of thick brushy edges with cattails clear water and shallow edges. I have had most of my luck at in let's and outlets to water sources. A small creek coming into a small river a river coming into a lake. Anywhere a edge changes direction. Do pretty good on points with undercut banks too. All the rats I have caught have been in colony traps I'm just starting to play around and see if I can get them on the bank in a single door trap. Also worth noting my highest producing rat spots are within eyesight of beaver activity. Last year I caught 23 rats in about a month. All within maybe 60 yards of a active beaver lodge at a local lake very near two creek inlets. Heavy cattails along the lake edge. That spot really coupled up everything I look for in a good rat spot

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Re: Muskrat waters
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2017, 06:25:12 PM »
I'm in south central Wa. More desert than rain forest around here. This afternoon I scouted an area with a bunch of mrat sign and secured permission from the land owner, he seemed worried that the mrats would get after the fish he planted. I'm not convinced the rats would get after his fish but I didn't talk him out of giving me the go ahead.

Muskrats won't get his fish but mink might. Best mink and muskrat bait? Muskrat meat!
Bruce Vandervort

Offline Norman89

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Re: Muskrat waters
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2017, 07:11:24 PM »
I'm in south central Wa. More desert than rain forest around here. This afternoon I scouted an area with a bunch of mrat sign and secured permission from the land owner, he seemed worried that the mrats would get after the fish he planted. I'm not convinced the rats would get after his fish but I didn't talk him out of giving me the go ahead.

Muskrats won't get his fish but mink might. Best mink and muskrat bait? Muskrat meat!

And if he has muskrats, good chance there are mink around so you can double down and remove two types of fur bearer for him

Offline 3nails

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Re: Muskrat waters
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2017, 08:31:53 PM »
 I also have found rats in almost all water conditions. My favorite to trap are irrigation ditches. I like to find their dens on the sides of the banks and stuff a single wide (without the bite extension) into the entrance hole. I'll also put some double wides into used channels. The double wides out trap every thing by far in open water.
"The word of God is like a lion. You don't have to defend a lion. All you have to do is let the lion loose, and the lion will defend itself."
Charles Spurgeon

Offline Luna butte

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Re: Muskrat waters
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2017, 10:30:59 PM »
I put 3 colony traps in a channel between two ponds today. The ponds are pretty well iced over and I can't find any runs through it, if the weather continues to stay warm I should be able to get a better idea of where they are running and really pile on the colony traps.

Offline Norman89

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Re: Muskrat waters
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2017, 01:49:14 PM »
The ice should help to find them. Bubble trails will lead you to bank dens and if it is very calm water under the ice you can clearly see the runs even better if you can catch one swimming in a run it will lead you to the den

Offline Luna butte

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Re: Muskrat waters
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2018, 11:02:45 AM »
The ice should help to find them. Bubble trails will lead you to bank dens and if it is very calm water under the ice you can clearly see the runs even better if you can catch one swimming in a run it will lead you to the den

I'll climb up the bank and see what I can figure out. I can probably get up about 25' and get a good overhead view of the pond. The only problem I envision is the 1" of frozen slush could maybe cloud the clarity of the ice some.

Offline wags

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Re: Muskrat waters
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2018, 05:30:18 PM »
Are you located down by the Columbia River, or near the town of Tumwater (Olympia)?
Also, I'm curious a about the Army Corp of Engineers land you were denied permission to trap on. What does "semi recreational use" mean? Who designated it as such, any other details? Sounds like someone may have been sort of making up the rules on the fly, so to speak.

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Re: Muskrat waters
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2018, 07:38:51 PM »
Are you located down by the Columbia River, or near the town of Tumwater (Olympia)?
Also, I'm curious a about the Army Corp of Engineers land you were denied permission to trap on. What does "semi recreational use" mean? Who designated it as such, any other details? Sounds like someone may have been sort of making up the rules on the fly, so to speak.

 :yeah:
I'd like to know more about this also. Might be something WSTA could help with.
Bruce Vandervort

Offline Luna butte

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Re: Muskrat waters
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2018, 07:06:15 AM »
I'm from goldendale. I figured "west of tumwater butte" would cause some head scratching.

The ACoE ground is indeed the bank of the Columbia river between the John Day Dam and the town of Wishram Wa. I contacted the ACoE to check on permission or legality of trapping down there and after quite a while I was given the denial for the stated reason. It seemed dumb to me cause shooting is a fairly normal occurrence and fishing is encouraged.

Below is a copy/paste of my last email from the ACoE. It's been a couple years since I made my request.


After further review of land status maps in The Dalles Lock and Dam Master Plan, it was determined that Bob's Point, including all of the area where you were requesting permission to trap, is designated as a "low density use" recreation area. As such, hunting and trapping is prohibited there.

If you have any questions about this determination, please contact my supervisor - David LaDouceur, (541)506-7802.

Offline wags

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Re: Muskrat waters
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2018, 01:14:48 PM »
Hmm, sound to me like "low density recreational use" would fit just fine. Not telling you what to do, but if it's it's public land and open to other users without specific consent, then I'd trap it. If they don't have a written prohibition against trapping then I don't know what you'd be cited for.

This sounds to me like a made-up rule that's not even in writing. Remember, back when they gave you their "determination" there was a completely different administration in D.C. They were probably just afraid to make someone up the chain angry with them. It's always much easier and safer for a bureaucrat to say "no" than say yes to a request.   

 

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