Perhaps the most simple and innovative fish trap for children is the ‘Koorichatty’. The picture shows the koorichatty in action in the clear waters of the river in front of our house in Thidanad.
Here the fish trap, koorichatty is immersed in the water and we can see the tiger fish of Thidanad, vazhakkavara (please look carefully to identify the ‘Nemo’ like small fish with dark stripes) hovering above the trap. Once they get in through the small opening in the middle of the trap, lured by the food kept inside, they won’t know how to get back into the open water. We as children used to collect these small fish and put them in the water below the rock formations inside the land and grow them as pets.
Preparation of koorichatty is very simple
First the half0……0…….0…………………………….. portion of the coconut shell after the coconut flesh is grated out is taken
Food for the fish is kept inside the shell. A cloth piece is then tied round it and fixed in position using a rubber band,
A hole is then made in the middle of the cloth covering the coconut shell using a lit match stick or a small piece of wood.
This then is immersed in the river bed and left alone for sometime. Small fish, primarily the ‘vazhakkavara’ – the tiger fish will gather and get inside the trap one by one. The small coconut shell would get about 10 to 12 of these little fellas, which the children take home for putting in the small ponds.
Interestingly, this is not a children exclusive game. I do this when I go to Thidanad. By the way there are some science also involved in this. You get the maximum catch if you know the position of the trap, the best time of the day, and the direction of the sunlight etc. These are acquired skills and I am one of the top experts.
I suppose this could be an attractive tourist activity.