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TR4RT - Timer Release for Ropeless Fishing

  • Programmable timer release for ropeless fishing

  • Simple, reliable and low cost while having the minimum impact possible on fishing operations 

  • Release by rotation of beveled cam

  • Delay time set via rotation of cam with cam tool

  • No deck unit or expendable parts

  • Salt or freshwater

  • Operating depth is 0 to 500 feet (0 to 152 meters)

  • Battery life approximately 6 months, release every 3 days using one set of 4 lithium AA batteries

The TR4RT Difference


The TR4RT system is much different from other ropeless fishing systems. It was designed specifically to be simple, reliable and cost-effective for single-trap, near-shore fisheries in water depths to about 500 ft. The design was developed to meet specific criteria based directly on input from the Dungeness Crab and Spiny Lobster fishers. These included:

  • Minimizes exposure of whales to entanglement hazards

  • Can be capitalized and operated at low cost

  • Easily integrated into the existing fishing process

  • No undo impact on time and effort required to handle fishing gear

  • Easily stowed within the footprint of the existing trap

  • Does not impede the stacking of traps

  • As reliable as the traditional system

  • Comparable visibility on the surface to the traditional system

  • Provides a means to track the gear location

TR4RT Operations

The system works by securing the normal trap line and float to the top of the trap with a bungee and release loop that is secured to a cam on the timer. When the time setting is reached, the line and float are released. The time is set by turning the cam. There are no other complicated controls, deck units or rope packing systems. To date, the system has been tested successfully with lobster traps, black sea bass traps, and crab traps to depths of about 300 feet in a variety of ocean conditions and bottom types. Testing has shown the gear to be highly reliable with minimal impact to existing fishing operations. A tablet-based app is available for gear tracking if needed. The systems are also being used for general equipment recovery applications using pop-up buoys.

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