How to Make a Crawdad Trap

How to make and bait a DIY crawdad trap. Fun nature and science activity for kids.

Our boys have had a lot of fun swimming in the river behind our house this summer. There are all kinds of things to look at and explore, so many creatures to discover.


This year my boys discovered crawdads for the first time. They look like little crabs, but you can find them in even tiny rivers like ours. They are really fun to try to catch, some people even eat them!


It is really easy to make a trap to capture crawdads.


Supplies Needed:

  • 2-liter pop bottle
  • Exacto knife
  • String
  • Canned clams



The first thing you need to do to create the trap is cut the top off of the bottle. Using the exacto knife, carefully cut the top third of the pop bottle off. You want to cut it at the top of the center portion of the bottle, right where the bottle begins to narrow.


Turn the part you cut off upside down and place it inside the bottle, so that the cut edges meet and the top of the bottle is now inside of the bottle, near the bottom of the bottle.



Use the knife to cut two slits at the top of the bottle, one on each side. Cut a long piece of light rope or string and string it through the two holes, tying it at the top. This gives you a hanger to hang the bottle from.


Place about half a small can of clams down through the hole, to the bottom of the bottle.


Your crawdad trap is all ready to try out! Hang the bottle from a tree branch or other secure place with the bottle entirely submerged in the water. You can place a few small rocks in the bottom of the bottle to help keep it in the water.


Have your kids check the trap every day and see if they caught any crawdads! And if you are brave enough, do a search to find out how to cook them and eat them.


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