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Stocking crawfish in established pond
#503025 03/13/19 12:17 AM
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Ok, so after getting advice from the forum Ive scatched the idea of stocking my 50+ year old 4.5 acre pond with fhm and other small fish and bought a TX hunter feeder instead. When talking to the guy I bought the feeder from he told me the best results he ever saw in his pond came from stocking hundreds of pounds of live crawfish. Its Peak season for crawfish in LA now and Ill be driving down for work and have the ability to buy large amounts of live crawfish and bring them back.

Anyone else ever tried it? Or are there any reason I shouldnt.

The pond has lots of 8-12 spotted bass/Kentucky and seems like the Crappie are close to the same size range 8-12.

Re: Stocking crawfish in established pond
Nathan&Kelly #503030 03/13/19 05:12 AM
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Do you have the habitat to sustain them?

Re: Stocking crawfish in established pond
Nathan&Kelly #503034 03/13/19 06:31 AM
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You might get a $5 trap, put it in your pond and see if maybe you already have crawfish. I don't know about in Missouri, but in Texas if there is water there are crawfish in it. It makes for fun fishing too. Bass love crawfish, so any lure that imitates one is likely to get hammered.


North Texas Half Acre
1/2 acre stocked 3/11/17 - CNBG, RES, LMB, HSB, FHM
Re: Stocking crawfish in established pond
Nathan&Kelly #503038 03/13/19 07:16 AM
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I suspect the crawfish here in La are going to be red swamp and white river craws. Usually we will see a lot of them in the 5 to 6" size this time of the year at the farm's. Pretty big crawfish. You will need to keep them moist when traveling. And don't put them in an ice chest and close the lid or you will have a stinking mess of dead one's by the time you get back home. Red swamps are pretty much everywhere in the central US and can be found from La to Mo. and north of you also. That's what I read when researching craws for my pond.

Last edited by TGW1; 03/13/19 07:18 AM.

Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.


Tracy
Re: Stocking crawfish in established pond
Nathan&Kelly #503043 03/13/19 08:28 AM
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Re: Stocking crawfish in established pond
Nathan&Kelly #503046 03/13/19 09:09 AM
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Now is the time to get the native Missouri crawdads installed in the pond. Here, in month or two they will hatch their eggs and boost the population. Should you trap from a nearby creek, look for females carrying eggs under their tails...these are the ones that give you the bang for the buck. Please use the links Augie supplied to ID any specimens you transplant. Your pond will need plenty of rip-rap rock (golf ball to football size) along the bank for their habitat in order to sustain a population long term. I have rocked about 25% of my banks with hopes that it will be enough. Rock from above the shoreline down at least into 18 inches of water at a minimum. I could not found a hatchery source for crawdads, but luckily my creek supplied all that I needed. I did not get lucky enough to trap any egg carrying females before the hatch and just trapped for two summers and built the population up that way. I am sure that I put in way more than necessary, but running the creek took me back to being a kid and I had fun doing it.


Fish on!,
Noel
Re: Stocking crawfish in established pond
Nathan&Kelly #503119 03/14/19 12:20 PM
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Thanks for sharing the links and advice guys. I appreciate the help.

Re: Stocking crawfish in established pond
Nathan&Kelly #503410 03/21/19 11:15 PM
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Figured Id share an update. Looked into the laws and native types of crawfish in my area. I found that the kind I could buy in New Orleans are legal and a noninvasive species to my area.
They come alive and packed in mesh sacks. I purchased 98lbs which was 3 sacks. There is an app called the crawfish app that lets you find the cheapest price per pound and also lets you search various citys. At the time of my purchase Hammond LA had the best prices at $2.79 per pound (live). I also bought 3 large plastic storage totes from Walmart at $8 each as well.

You need to keep them cold, which means keeping them covered in ice. I used 12 bags of gas station Ice total 4 per bin. But you also have to drain the water frequently otherwise they will drowned in the melt water. I stopped every 2-3 hours and drained each bin and would flip the bags.

Total transport time of the live crawfish to my pond was just under 9 hours. I then removed 2 of the mesh bags (68#) from the bins of ice and cut them open on my shoreline and dumped out the crawfish. All were still alive at this point and would make small movements but were definitely lethargic from being on ice. I then just started scooping them up by hand and tossing them into the pond(they were very lethargic and didnt even pinch).

The 3rd sack (for a family crawfish boil) I left in a bin completely covered in ice overnight. The next morning I put them in a second bin without ice and rinsed them with a hose after cutting open the bag. They were now loose in the plastic bin, and lethargic like the ones the night befor. However after letting them warm up a little and continued rinsings I noticed they revived much quicker.

After checking today 6 days later I found that I had 40 or 50 dead crawfish visible where I had tossed them in. I feel now if I would have revived them better first that I wouldnt have lost hardly any. So the next time I do this. Im going to be more patient and do a better job of acclimating them first.


On a positive note. I caught a 4lb spotted bass today at the farthest away spot from where I released the crawfish and it had a live crawfish it had just eaten sticking out of its mouth. So my bass are LOVING the added forage!
Plus the family crawfish boil was a lot of fun. Id say so it was worth it.

Re: Stocking crawfish in established pond
Nathan&Kelly #503415 03/22/19 05:39 AM
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Mo. to N. Orleans for mud bugs? Now, lets here the whole story about partying on Bourbon st. smile


Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.


Tracy
Re: Stocking crawfish in established pond
Nathan&Kelly #503422 03/22/19 08:55 AM
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You gotta love it when a plan comes together.


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