I would post some trapline photos, but generally I am running pretty hard for the rats right now. If I could get my camera to function properly in the cold I would take more. Where I trap isn't really a big secret. I tend not to make it public, but don't think it would matter much. It takes a special breed to do what I do, and most people just aren't willing to put in the effort. If we get some warmer days I'll try to get a few more pics posted.
I trap a little of everything. The last couple of years I have been focusing more on rats. Trap a variety of habitat. Although I will say that I'll avoid trapping rivers for rats. To much water flucuation for me. The rivers are better suited for canines and coon.
I won't post numbers on how many I catch. I will say that my hands are sore from skinning by the end of the winter though.
As far as rat populations are concerned. In my area there are still rats in the ditches. Some hold more then others, but populations are down from what they were say 10 years ago. You just can't trap them as hard and the methods have changed. The days of setting 110's in narrow runs are pretty much over. Most of the ditches you could do that in have been dredged and are dry most of the year. The larger creeks still hold rats and basically you have to set dens, bottom edges, or colony traps in spots where the ditches narrow down. Lakes tend to hold a fairly stable population of rats. As long as there are no major changes in vegetation and water levels. You can pretty much trap the same number of rats every year from a lake. Marshes all depend on water level. If the water gets too low then there won't be as many rats, or they will be extremely concentrated where there is enough water. This can make the trapping easier, but usually leads to more damaged rats as they will fight amongst themselves for the better areas. In the case of man made marshes. If the marsh doesn't hold enough water rats will be found highly concentrated in the canals surrounding the marsh that were created when the dikes where built. When the desired water level returns they will repopulate the marsh again.
In my opinion marshes and lakes will recover a lot faster then ditches with rats. You have to be careful not to over trap the ditches, but believe that it would be nearly impossible to over trap a marsh or lake.
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