Pond Boss
Posted By: Quarter Acre Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 07/26/20 02:03 PM
I have over 100 crawdads (Northern Virile) that need a new place to be. Most are 3 to 4" long. If anyone wants to bring a cooler and pick them up, I'll honor the first "I'll take them" on this thread. I will be able to meet any evening this week (today included). I live in West Central Missouri, about 10 miles south of the I-70 / 65 Hwy intersection (I-70 mile marker 79).

Should someone want these guys...post your "I'll take e'm" here and PM me a number to call and I contact you. I'll check back in a couple hours.
Posted By: SetterGuy Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 07/28/20 01:51 AM
QA, I would love to get them, but I’m getting my ankle rebuilt tomorrow morning. I am not sure, but I imagine I’ll be down for several weeks. Plus it’s my right ankle so driving will be delayed.
How long can you hold them?
Posted By: canyoncreek Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 07/28/20 02:46 AM
best wishes for your surgery and recovery SetterGuy!
Posted By: Quarter Acre Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 07/28/20 12:17 PM
SG...We'll get you some before the summer is over, so long as the catch rates continue. I have been getting about 20 a night for the last month and 30 to 50 prior to that for a total of over 1000 this year. And, my work hours are getting ready to change such that I will not be able to set traps as much. Don't hesitate to PM me when you foresee an opportunity to travel and we'll see what we can do...take it easy and don't get impatient with the healing process!

I have over 120 now and have been emptying the bait sock over the caged craws...this should allow them to be kept caged longer, but I don't want to push it such that they start eating each other. These will go to a neighbors pond this weekend unless a PB member needs them. Even though my neighbor does not have the habitat for them...they will certainly be good forage for his LMB and CC.
Posted By: SetterGuy Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 07/29/20 11:48 AM
Sounds good QA. I’ll be in touch in a few months. Took the surgeon 4 hours to rebuild the ankle. It’s going to be a long recovery. frown
Posted By: ewest Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 07/30/20 03:38 PM
Listen to the Dr. and don't rush it to much. Hoping for a quick recovery !
Posted By: Snipe Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 07/31/20 02:04 AM
QA, if ya can't find a home for them call your local Game warden.. Tell them free craws and they'll load them up by the cooler load :-))
340lbs of my craws removed went to 7 wardens and 1 local KHP.

I guess I've boiled up about 15-20lbs for my wife n Kids.
Posted By: anthropic Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 07/31/20 02:10 AM
Originally Posted by SetterGuy
Sounds good QA. I’ll be in touch in a few months. Took the surgeon 4 hours to rebuild the ankle. It’s going to be a long recovery. frown

As someone with a fractured knee, smashed while fishing, I can only advise you to do your physical therapy! Key to full recovery.
Posted By: Snipe Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 07/31/20 02:38 AM
SG, sorry about the ankle, hope it heals up good.
As for the craws, if QA doesn't have enough when you're ready I think Augie is coming out for fish in a month or 2. I'll bet we can get some close to ya if needed.
Posted By: JoeDK Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 07/31/20 12:00 PM
I live close to new haven missouri about how far are you from that. I might be interested
Posted By: Quarter Acre Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 07/31/20 12:29 PM
Joe... According to G.maps, I'm about 2 hours and 15 minutes from New Haven. I have over 150 caged with no takers and should be available throughout the weekend.
Posted By: Augie Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 07/31/20 06:31 PM
I bet we could get em right straight into SG's pond.
Posted By: Nathan&Kelly Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 08/04/20 05:05 AM
QA hello from STL. Why are you getting rid of your crawfish? Last year I stocked 15k live crawfish into my 4+ acre pond for my bass. They are great forage! Curious why you’d want to remove them.
Posted By: Quarter Acre Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 08/04/20 12:13 PM
Hello N&K,

I have too many that have gotten out ahead of my predators. They may not be preferred by my HSB (2-3 pound fish) and have gotten too big for the HBG (1/2 - 3/4 pound). HSB, HBG, and the never seen since stocking RES are the only fish in the pond. In too large of numbers, they eat almost all vegetation and contribute to muddy waters. I would love for my waters to clear up to 24 to 36 inches (currently at 12-14) and I would also love to get some American Pond weed and Water Primrose established...the crawdads love APW and I'm putting WP in this week to give it a try. I am not trying to eradicate them, just get the numbers down so some plants will thrive. I have considered putting some CC in to help reduce the craw numbers, but have not pulled that trigger. I thought I'd try trapping them down first before I traded HSB capacity for CC.
Posted By: Matzilla Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 08/04/20 01:49 PM
have you considered adding a single, large freshwater drum? Just curious, how large is your biggest crawdad pipe? I've got a couple this year that are 18" tall, 24" around at the base and have 4-5" holes on top, by far the largest I've ever seen.
Posted By: Quarter Acre Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 08/04/20 02:08 PM
I have not even thought about a drum...not sure where I'd get one. These northern virile crayfish do not build pipes. I think they just hang out in the rocks and crevices. I do have a single LMB in there (I think). I added it last year...surely it's fat and happy!
Posted By: Augie Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 08/04/20 02:59 PM
White drum can be caught in pretty much any flowing stream south of the Missouri River. Any creek mouth on LoTO or Truman should be stacked with them after a decent rain.
The trouble with that idea is getting them home alive. If you could catch a couple them <12" it might be do-able.
Any bigger than that they are very difficult to transport. 5lb+ size will croak in less than 15 minutes if you toss him in an aerated livewell on a boat.
But if you were able to pull it off... they will hoover some crayfish...
Posted By: Matzilla Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 08/04/20 09:22 PM
They are pretty hardy in cold water....late fall through early spring. They would also help control snails, much better than RES
Posted By: Pat Williamson Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 08/04/20 09:38 PM
Originally Posted by Augie
White drum can be caught in pretty much any flowing stream south of the Missouri River. Any creek mouth on LoTO or Truman should be stacked with them after a decent rain.
The trouble with that idea is getting them home alive. If you could catch a couple them <12" it might be do-able.
Any bigger than that they are very difficult to transport. 5lb+ size will croak in less than 15 minutes if you toss him in an aerated livewell on a boat.
But if you were able to pull it off... they will hoover some crayfish...
Originally Posted by Augie
White drum can be caught in pretty much any flowing stream south of the Missouri River. Any creek mouth on LoTO or Truman should be stacked with them after a decent rain.
The trouble with that idea is getting them home alive. If you could catch a couple them <12" it might be do-able.
Any bigger than that they are very difficult to transport. 5lb+ size will croak in less than 15 minutes if you toss him in an aerated livewell on a boat.
But if you were able to pull it off... they will hoover some crayfish...

We call them goos (gasper goo)
Posted By: Matzilla Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 08/05/20 03:49 PM
they have so many different names; sheephead, freshwater drum, drum, white drum and ironically here they are called perch
Posted By: Quarter Acre Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 08/07/20 06:17 PM
I should have a guesstimated 60 crawdads looking for a new home come Sunday...any takers.

If not, I should have about twice that many by the next Sunday so long as they do well being in the cage that long. I think they will be fine. I'm more than willing to reserve them for someone that wants to commit to the trip (10 miles north of Sedalia, Mo.).
Posted By: Quarter Acre Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 08/14/20 02:04 PM
I should have over 100 craws come Sunday it there are any takers.
Posted By: Pat Williamson Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 08/14/20 10:46 PM
Wish I was closer to you would like to stock some
Posted By: Quarter Acre Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 09/21/20 08:55 PM
I should have about 150 craws by the end of next weekend (Sunday, Sept 27th) if there are any takers. I'll have more in the following weeks as I will be able to trap more often then.
Posted By: SetterGuy Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 09/21/20 10:00 PM
Don’t forget about me! I get this stupid boot off October 14th. I will be a free man at that point. I’ll be able to drive myself somewhere! Other than driving my wife crazy! I will still want a crawdad or two. grin
Posted By: gehajake Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 09/21/20 11:57 PM
Hey I would probably take another batch by the week of the 27th, with slightly cooler weather we may be able to collect them a few days longer, bigger batch. I will stay in touch
Posted By: Quarter Acre Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 09/22/20 02:54 PM
Originally Posted by SetterGuy
Don’t forget about me! I get this stupid boot off October 14th. I will be a free man at that point. I’ll be able to drive myself somewhere! Other than driving my wife crazy! I will still want a crawdad or two. grin

I haven't forgotten you. The only thing keeping you from getting a good batch is it they stop coming to the trap. Stay in touch. It sounds like Jake wants some around next week. That will allow a good batch for him and I'll put you on the list for the next round. I hate to keep them in the trap more than a couple weeks for fear that they will start to eat each other, but 3 weeks might work OK. I hope to be on vacation during your trapping time frame and should be able to collect a fair amount in 2 weeks time. I am still getting 20-25 per night in the 3-4" range, but cannot do it nightly.

Good to hear the boot's coming off soon...my dad has one on right now for a broken heel and is about to drive my mom to dangerous levels. lol
Posted By: John Kruid Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 02/10/21 09:01 PM
Quarter Acre, I missed this post last year. If you happen to be getting rid of more in 2021 let me know. Im near Leavenworth,KS and would be happy to drive down. If I read correctly you're near Sedalia?
Posted By: Quarter Acre Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 02/10/21 09:35 PM
Hey John,

I have one other taker at this point for 2021 and suspect there will be plenty to go around. Spring-time will tell. Stay in touch. If the first round of trap soakings go well, I'll be sure to post to this thread. Fighting off the local craw-eaters may be difficult as its' been many months since I fed them (lol), but the PB members will take dibs. And, yes I'm near Sedalia, Mo.
Posted By: John Kruid Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 02/10/21 11:02 PM
That sounds great. I will be looking to add them to my pond, but they are good table fare. Thank you
Posted By: Quarter Acre Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 03/19/21 05:06 PM
I will be putting the craw trap in this weekend to see if they are active enough to be trapped. I have seen a few milling about. Wish me luck.

Currently, I have two takers for 2021 should trapping be successful (Snakebite and John Kruid). I don't think I have left anybody out. Post here if you are still interested.

I'll post this weekends results so we can, hopefully, start planning some craw transfers.
Posted By: Quarter Acre Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 03/22/21 11:59 AM
I have a decision to make. I trapped 18 craws this weekend (probably some in the trap from last night too), but 5 or 6 of them are carrying eggs. I rarely see any small crawdads milling about. My guess is that they are being eating by my smaller fish. I am contemplating putting the females with eggs back in the pond so that can create that small class of forage. I have never trapped this early in the season hence the berried females. I suspect I will be turning them back to the pond. This will slow the build up of craw numbers, but if rates continue, which they should with warming weather, I will have about 40-50 craws ready for someone this weekend. They are 3 to 4" long.
Posted By: jpsdad Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 03/22/21 12:51 PM
Originally Posted by Quarter Acre
I have a decision to make. I trapped 18 craws this weekend (probably some in the trap from last night too), but 5 or 6 of them are carrying eggs.

QA, Most all of the females were inseminated last fall. Most females that are not presently carrying eggs will be exuding them later this spring. Northern crays tend to follow this Fall-mate Spring-Spawn schedule. Removing females now could greatly inhibit the numbers of crawfish this fall (Though it is possible standing weights would be comparable either way). For folks that take your crays home, females not carrying eggs will likely yield them later. A single female that is already inseminated has the potential to establish a population if it is able to raise its offspring to the 3rd instar.
Posted By: Quarter Acre Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 03/22/21 05:53 PM
Thanks for the vocabulary challenge JP...I had to look up "instar". I am going to stick with my bet that the vast majority of the 3rd instar craws become forage for the smaller HBG and return the berried mothers to the pond. I never (almost never) see any craws smaller than 2.5 inches in the traps or at the pond edges during feeding time (Yes, I feed them). I take this to mean that once they get larger than that I do not have large enough fish in the pond that target them.

JP, what do you mean by "Though it is possible standing weights would be comparable either way"?

If I leave the berried females in the pond until the youth are on there own (third instar as I have learned) and those YOY get eaten, all the while trapping out the males and non-berried females...my standing weight should go down. That is my goal after all.
Posted By: jpsdad Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 03/22/21 06:59 PM
Originally Posted by Quarter Acre
JP, what do you mean by "Though it is possible standing weights would be comparable either way"?

If I leave the berried females in the pond until the youth are on there own (third instar as I have learned) and those YOY get eaten, all the while trapping out the males and non-berried females...my standing weight should go down. That is my goal after all.

Probably would go down but maybe not as much you may think. The water is capable of sustaining a limiting weight of crayfish. So if you divide that weight by the maximum potential growth by fall (for a typical individual) ... then you have the number of crayfish it would take to fill out the carrying capacity at the maximum weight per individual. Brown et al. were able to grow northerns to 700 lbs/acre in an unfed-unfertilized pond in 5 months. Their size at the end of the season of course depends on the number of juveniles stocked in the spring. So stock too many, they will reach that limiting weight sooner and only grow by attrition (usually by cannibalism of molting crays). So as you can imagine, there is a goldie-locks stocking rate that allows the crayfish to grow maximally until harvest. When the numbers are below this, production will decrease. So it all depends on survival, but this much I will mention. Crayfish can produce way ... way more offspring than is required to replace themselves. As long as a sufficient number survive they could fill the carrying capacity or replace their spring standing weight of adults by fall.

****Bump****

If you delay removing crayfish until the middle of May ... almost all of the females will have released their young or be berried with eggs or young. In other words, if you would like to retain all the YOY delaying the removal of crays until then would ensure very few inseminated females would slip through the cracks. This would maximize your YOY production. Those taking your crayfish home in this case ... would have to wait until next year in order to get YOY production (though small percentage could produce a second brood ... but this would be the exception and not the rule).
Posted By: Quarter Acre Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 03/23/21 03:18 PM
That's a mouth full JP! Thanks for the explanation, I appreciate it.

If I understand the point that should be taken, I should remove all the craws I can trap, and remover them without prejudice.

I know there will be plenty of berried females that do not get trapped. Maybe these will satisfy my thoughts on creating the smaller forage.

So far I have about 30 in the cage with 10 or so carrying eggs. I don't know how long they will carry the eggs, but they should find a new home soon. I had a couple PB members inquire about them late last year and I would love to get them in the taking first. They have been PM'd, but I have yet to connect with them. Under the circumstances and the difficulty to plan a firm pick-up....any takers for this weekend?

I have also been trapping 10-15 bullfrog tadpoles a day (big ones with smallish rear legs). I have been discarding those to the creek, but will start saving them if anyone is so inclined to come get them...let me know!
Posted By: jpsdad Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 03/23/21 04:09 PM
QA,

I think your crayfish are amazing. It is clear to me, from your observations of the HBG, that they are supporting your pond's forage substantially. It's just that they have been too much of a good thing, that's all. You'll find that goldilocks balance when you fill that gap that is missing (a predator that will seek and eat 4" crayfish). The goldilocks amount of that predator will allow enough adults to survive to replenish their standing weight. Forage production may decline in this case if you don't replace the lost production with other prolific reproducers. Crayfish are high energy forage ... even better than BG according to one reference.

My sense is that your pond never reaches its carrying capacity of crayfish and that they grow maximally. So it works like this. Way more spawn is produced than would be required to replace the adults ... but they are continually cropped never attaining the carrying capacity. Under such a scenario, the pond can produce a greater weight of crayfish in one season than the pond could carry were there no predators. So instead of stunting they continue to grow all season providing forage along the way.
Posted By: gehajake Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 03/23/21 06:13 PM
Quarter Acre, I caught a few CC Sun, the first ones from the pond, were stocked as up to 6 in fingerlings 2 yrs ago this May, the biggest one weighed 2.6 lbs. point is I checked all of their stomach to see what they were eating and found young crawfish in nearly half of them, they were much smaller then the crawfish I got from you so I must have an already established herd in my pond.
Posted By: Quarter Acre Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 03/24/21 12:18 PM
Originally Posted by gehajake
Quarter Acre, I caught a few CC Sun, the first ones from the pond, were stocked as up to 6 in fingerlings 2 yrs ago this May, the biggest one weighed 2.6 lbs. point is I checked all of their stomach to see what they were eating and found young crawfish in nearly half of them, they were much smaller then the crawfish I got from you so I must have an already established herd in my pond.

The craws form my pond are from an alien planet and they reproduce like it's going out of style....I cannot be responsible for what they do to your BOW! lol - I'm very glad to here they are doing well and producing a good forage base. It's interesting that all the crawdads I trapped from the creek for my initial pond stocking were small, 1-3" long, but after two years in the pond...all I get in the traps are 3-5 inchers. I enjoy them and have learned a few things along the way and am happy to help others with my misfortune/good luck. I am, apparently, very good at growing craws and tadpoles...by default.
Posted By: jpsdad Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 03/24/21 02:31 PM
QA,

The craws in the creek are likely over populated as there might be insufficient fish predators to keep their numbers low enough to get big. Crayfish grow amazingly fast but once they become adults (around 5 months) the growth thereafter is very slow. They can be grown to commercial lengths in one season. That is a minimum length of 3". They would rarely get larger than 5" Yours are most likely reaching lengths of 3.5 or greater in their first year. They grow slowly after that usually do not live past their second year.

3/4 in mesh will pass crayfish smaller than 3". If you are interested in capturing juveniles, insure your trap or net is of fine enough mesh to retain them. We had a crawdad pond for bait and it was stocked by nature with Orconectis Nais, the same crayfish that are growing in snrub's water. No predators so they stunted but made LOTS of 1.5" to 2" crays. We harvested them with a pool net just reaching as far as the handle would let us and then pulling it along bottom to the shore. You might try something like this in the June time frame when there should be a variety juveniles.

So I mentioned that they grow fast. Let's put that into perspective. You know how small the eggs are but lets start with the second molt when they are around .25 inches long. These are crayfish just leaving the protection of their mother when they weigh ~ 1.8 milligrams. In 5 months they can reach a mean weight of 18 grams OR 10,000 times their 2nd Instar weight!!! :0. To attain this weight they should be no denser than 1 crayfish for every 1.8 square feet. In a pond with no predators, where juveniles are stocked at this rate 24200/acre, there will be ~ 75% survival. So in a 1/4 acre unfertilized unfed crayfish production pond there should be 4538 adults weighing 179 lbs at seasons end. If we take 1/2 of those crayfish to females, then we have 2269 females. It is clear that without a harvest or predators there will be too many offspring to grow maximally the following year. If a person drained and reflooded the 1/4 production pond each year stocking only with enough inseminated females to stock the pond optimally with juveniles ... it would only require around 20 inseminated females. There are 113 times the number of females required (for reproduction purposes) at the end of the growing season.

Imagine if only 40 lbs of 3.5" females (692) over winter each yielding 300 2nd instar juveniles. This inoculates ~208,000 juvenile crayfish to the pond. By the time they reach 1" length there is potential they could weigh as much as 132 lbs. Even at 60% survival to 1" they would weigh 80 lbs even after providing forage (that was eaten by something) that is comparable to the original weight of females. But from 1" they have the potential to grow to a weight almost 64 times that. Of course they won't produce (80 x 64) 5000 lbs of crayfish because there will be attrition as they provide forage to your fish. Still, its simple to see that they can keep growing provided the support weight of 175 lbs (in the 1/4 acre pond) is not breached and because of this and their stellar rate of growth they can produce more forage than the pond could maintain all because something is cropping them. So only 700 females of the original 208,000 juveniles need to survive the gauntlet of predators. This is the challenge TJ faced in his ponds. Once a high density develops, even a small surviving (~0.33 %) proportion can sustain the population. I think you can get them under control if you have a modest weight of predators that will prefer the adults. If they do this, then the overwintering standing weight may be limited to the number your best escape cover can protect. If you are successful it will be an example others can follow to manage this forage.

For others contemplating large crayfish as forage, because of their high reproduction rate and fast growth do not give them a head start (like we do with minnows). Only introduce them after 2 or 3 years and provide a limited amount of escape cover to protect a limited weight of them from predators.
Posted By: Quarter Acre Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 03/24/21 04:25 PM
Fantastic information JP. This explains the situation that I am in very well. It also explains why the Missouri Conservation member told me to just stock a few (no more than 6 IIRC) berried females...I didn't listen! It was after their egg carrying period and I bucket stocked a couple hundred that year along with the FHM's and another hundred the following year along with fingerling gamefish.

The creek is not overpopulated, I think it the opposite as it dries up between rainy seasons leaving few shallow standing pools. This leaves them to the racoons, snakes, birds, etc. The spring season allows the creek to produce the early summer season's forage for the wildlife beyond the few fish that wash down from a couple neighboring ponds and swim up from the ever-wet Turkey Creek. I don't think the craws have enough time to get to full size, Winter season allows the creek to flow much more than not allowing the craws to grow some and reproduce to start the cycle again.

An observation I have made is that this week's spring trappings produced craws mostly 4-5" long whereas last falls final trappings were only producing smaller 3" ones. I assumed that I was getting all the larger ones taken out and, now, assume that they grew over the winter.
Posted By: jpsdad Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 03/24/21 06:05 PM
After posting that I did wonder if maybe those were young crayfish you were collecting. Makes perfect sense. Also I agree that the 3" crays grew over winter to > 4". Most of these will die this year as was evidenced by their absence later last fall. I've attach a SS that simulates forage production under attrition. The rates of growth and the attrition rates are average but it gives you an idea. In your pond, I think mortality peaks when they are in the 1.5 to 2" lengths also growth rates are much larger in the beginning. A lower mortality in the beginning or a higher growth rate in the beginning would have the effect of increasing the forage produced. Please note that the mortality must be less than the growth or their could be extirpation. This is why some minimal escape cover is important. Note that there isn't a big difference between growth and mortality and the key to tipping the balance is the predation of the adults.

Attached File
Crayfish forage.xlsx  (113 downloads)
Posted By: FishinRod Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 03/24/21 06:26 PM
Thanks to everyone who is contributing to this thread.

I am pretty sure I have learned more about crayfish in this thread than I have in all of the other documents I have read combined!
Posted By: Quarter Acre Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 03/24/21 07:12 PM
For just a thread to find new homes for my craws...it has developed an abundant amount of info!

BTW, the first week's trappings are destined to go to Kansas and my fish supplier may do some fish trading for some craws to put in his personal BOW. The next couple weeks may be spoken for, but don't hesitate to contact me and we'll grow a list.
Posted By: gehajake Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 03/24/21 07:22 PM
Originally Posted by FishinRod
Thanks to everyone who is contributing to this thread.

I am pretty sure I have learned more about crayfish in this thread than I have in all of the other documents I have read combined!

Agreed, this thread is super interesting to me, I had no idea they had such prolific reproduction rates, in and old strip pit pond that we fish in, before the otters cleaned it out, the nicest, biggest, fattest LMB and BC we caught were always loaded with craw fish, even tho there were some bluegill in the pond, I know there weren't enough to sustain the growth we were seeing in the bass and crappie. I always wondered how craw fish could even maintain a population with so much predation.
Which was the reason why I wanted to make sure I had a start of them in my new pond, and the most luck I had catching bass was on a Strike King imitation craw rigged on a 3/8oz or so weedless jighead, we could go out and just catch a mess of LMB everytime with that rig, again, before the otters wiped out all the big ones.
Posted By: John Kruid Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 03/24/21 07:29 PM
I agree, I gleaned quite a bit of knowledge from this thread. Can’t wait to pick up the craws on Sunday. Gonna add some more rock piles in the pond this week. There really isn’t much in there for rocks, but there are lots of brush piles and sunken logs. I’ll also be putting some in my overflow pond that is much smaller and void of fish at the moment.
Posted By: Augie Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 03/25/21 01:25 AM
Originally Posted by gehajake
the most luck I had catching bass was on a Strike King imitation craw rigged on a 3/8oz or so weedless jighead,

The two best artificial lures that exist for catching LMB are a rubber worm and a pig-n-jig. I'd put the pig-n-jig at the top of that short list.
Posted By: jpsdad Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 03/25/21 09:53 AM
The intrigue is only beginning. I am keen to understand the progress made in control using the CC and boosting the panfish population. Metrics might be in order to guage progress. So it would be interesting to keep records of the weight of crayfish trapped, fishing effort (time of trap in water), number of traps set, and dates of efforts. With this kind of information you can quantify the effects of the management efforts to control them. A similar track may be to track vegetation changes and/or water quality parameters like DO or secchi visibility. Thanks for this thread QA. I appreciate both how and what I am learning from your experience.
Posted By: Quarter Acre Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 03/25/21 12:31 PM
JP, I can say that I took out over 1500 crawdads last year. They probably averaged 4" long and the single trap was in the pond, on average, 4 days a week between late April and the end of October. The trap bait (fish pellets) was changed in the evening and not checked again until the next evening (24 hour soaks). The secchi visibility stayed between 10 and 16 inches all last year. It showed no signs of getting better as the season progressed as it just jumped back and forth with the blooms and rain inflows. The pond blooms can be very heavy (very heavy) and certainly affects the visibility. It has been about 14-16" so far this year with no aeration turned on and one bloom already that has disappeared, mostly due to spring rain inflows and muddier waters. As far as vegetation goes, the pickerel weed, arrow head, & thalia dealbata all thrived and spread out slowly, but nicely last year. All other submerged vegetation is non-existent. FA only grows in the top few inches of the water column and has not matted and floated around since the first two years of the pond (about the time the craw population explosion). The overhanging grasses, hanging lily baskets, shoreline rocks, and the dock floats all have FA on them, but it is only at the surface. DO levels have always been low in my opinion. I did not take many DO readings last year, but they mirrored the previous year when sampled...4 to 6ppm (Better at the surface and diminishes as you get deeper).

Unfortunately for the pond hobby, I am working more than ever and have another hobby (auto restorations) that takes up my time too. Taking a scientific approach to the pond will be a bit hap-hazard at best this year. Maybe you (JP) can (I know you can) make some estimates on the above info should you care to venture some rudimentary conclusions to last years efforts.
Posted By: gehajake Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 03/25/21 12:54 PM
The two best artificial lures that exist for catching LMB are a rubber worm and a pig-n-jig. I'd put the pig-n-jig at the top of that short list.[/quote]

That's it, the name escaped me at the time, but that's exactly what I was talking about, the pig and jig using the Strike King craws, they look so realistic, I catch a ton of bass on them.
My biggest problem I have with rubber worms, I get tons of hits, even more with the rubber salamanders, but I have to let them have it for just a little longer before I set the hook or they just have a grip on the tail, inevitably I get too many deep hooks that are terminal for the fish and most of my bass I catch and release so I have shied away from using rubber worms as much.
Posted By: jpsdad Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 03/25/21 01:08 PM
Well I can say that 1500 crayfish at 4", that's around 150 lbs of crayfish. And looks like about a little less than 2 lbs a day. So was this with one trap? I also recall you were able to remove some with a cast net.

It's totally remarkable, You removed 600 lbs/acre of forage and they still supported the lion's share of growth and maintenance of 432 lbs/acre of HSB. It's remarkable indeed.
Posted By: Quarter Acre Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 03/25/21 01:43 PM
Originally Posted by jpsdad
...So was this with one trap? I also recall you were able to remove some with a cast net...

A single trap was used almost entirely, maybe very little overlap. A clover leaf early in the year and then much smaller cylindrical minnow style trap advertised as a crawdad trap. The smaller trap actually worked a little better than the cloverleaf. I think this was due to the inverted cones on the ends whereas the cloverleaf's slit openings go from top to bottom and allow the craws to just crawl out easier as they walk the perimeter.

I did catch some with a cast net, but not many. I was targeting tad poles and just happened to get some craws off the bottom (in 7 foot of water). I may have added 50 craws to the catch with the net.

I am using both traps currently and plan to put them further apart this evening. They are both fairly equal in trapped numbers right now, but are only 10 feet away from one another. I will be adding an anchor point to a big log about 50 feet away to attach the smaller trap to.
Posted By: jpsdad Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 03/25/21 02:03 PM
You worked diligently to get them out. You haven't seemed to complain at all. If you had a little Cajun in you, it might have been a blast and something you looked forward too. I'm not Cajun either, but I do love their crawfish (had to change the spelling). Every year, I just can't wait for crawfish season to begin anew. I have a small property that I have been contemplating a ~1/8 acre pond. Been thinking about a Crawfish, TP, RBT rotation annually to produce 3 crops. It sounds crazy, but one of the things I want to select for is fishability of the crayfish. I would select for the crayfish that would dangle above the water for the longest length of time on a baited line. I have a great memories of catching crays as kid with pole and line. When my dad and I would bass fish, we'd even catch them on plastic worms and jig and grubs and bring huge ones right into the boat! The crayfish here and even in my home town lake are White River Crayfish and they have a similar annual cycle to the Northerns with fall mating and spring spawns ... but the WRC spawn sooner and mature faster and are ready to harvest in June-July time frame.
Posted By: RStringer Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 03/25/21 02:40 PM
Prolly wont be much help to ya but kinda funny. Once I put a Seado in the pond to tune it (really just playin) alil. Made prolly about 20 - 30 doughtnuts as fast as I could in there. When I got off it the pond edge was covered in crawdads tryin to get away. Could make for a pretty quick harvest if needed.
Posted By: CityDad Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 03/25/21 03:17 PM
If you ship em to FL Ill take em
Posted By: esshup Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 03/25/21 04:01 PM
I get White River Craws for stocking in ponds. I called my supplier earlier this week and they said now all they are getting is the smaller ones, they said wait until May/June for the larger ones if I was selling them for table fare.
Posted By: jpsdad Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 03/25/21 04:30 PM
Originally Posted by esshup
I get White River Craws for stocking in ponds. I called my supplier earlier this week and they said now all they are getting is the smaller ones, they said wait until May/June for the larger ones if I was selling them for table fare.

Yes, they can grow to 3" in length in 3 months from hatching. I really like them for the goal of late spring harvest . By July the latest hatchers have stopped growing but there should be many >4.5" crays
Posted By: gehajake Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 03/25/21 05:05 PM
Originally Posted by RStringer
Prolly wont be much help to ya but kinda funny. Once I put a Seado in the pond to tune it (really just playin) alil. Made prolly about 20 - 30 doughtnuts as fast as I could in there. When I got off it the pond edge was covered in crawdads tryin to get away. Could make for a pretty quick harvest if needed.

You sound a little like my friend that would take a seadoo and make donuts wider and wider till he would have all his FA slung out on the banks, that was his method of clearing the pond of it.
Posted By: RStringer Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 03/25/21 05:38 PM
Might have to get another one now. My FA got alil outta control this year.
Posted By: Quarter Acre Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 03/26/21 12:18 PM
Originally Posted by CityDad
If you ship em to FL Ill take em

I am not having trouble, locally, finding new homes for these guys and I'm not sure about the laws regarding transporting craws across state lines. I know it is illegal to bring live craws into Missouri. And, with the reintroduction of the Otter in Missouri...fisheries are having a horrible time farming them. It would be rare to find them for sale in a bait shop or otherwise.

City, I would look more local to your home and make sure the species is correct for your BOW and area. I suspect the Northern Virile Crayfish gets it's name from being more of a "Northern" dwelling species. It may be illegal for your area, or it may not live their to begin with ...IDK.
Posted By: John Kruid Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 03/29/21 12:11 AM
I successfully stocked your crawdads into 3 places including my overflow pond that currently has no fish. Every one of them made it alive. Thanks again buddy!
Posted By: Quarter Acre Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 03/29/21 12:07 PM
Originally Posted by John Kruid
I successfully stocked your crawdads into 3 places including my overflow pond that currently has no fish. Every one of them made it alive. Thanks again buddy!

I'm glad all went well, thanks for the confirmation John!

Enjoy!
Posted By: Quarter Acre Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 04/10/21 02:07 PM
Successful trapping rates have slowed down a lot in the last week. I have averaged about 4 per day with the last 2 days as no shows. I'm not sure what is going on other than it has been a bit chilly this last week or so.

I do have about 40 in a cage, if anyone is interested. I am starting to see some cannibalism in the cage and may toss this batch in the creek soon.

On a side note, the tadpole catch rate is increasing. I have about 100 in a cage right now. About 300 went into the creek a few days ago. It's hard to believe that I have that many that overwinter in the pond.
Posted By: Quarter Acre Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 06/24/21 10:29 AM
There are over 100 crawdads in my cage that need a new home. These are 2 to 5" long.

NO ReHOMING FEE...LOL

PM me or respond to this thread if you want them. I'm about 10 miles north of Sedalia, MO.
Posted By: CityDad Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 06/26/21 06:43 PM
You wanna mail em to florida?
Posted By: Quarter Acre Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 06/27/21 11:39 AM
Originally Posted by CityDad
You wanna mail em to florida?

I'm not even sure how that would work. These guys have been pretty easy to find homes for, so shipping them is not an option. Not to mention the legality. Some states have laws about crawdads crossing state lines.

This batch is spoken for and will be going to KC tomorrow.
Posted By: Quarter Acre Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 07/26/21 05:19 PM
I have over 100 crawdads (maybe 200 by this weekend) looking for a new home. These Northern Virile craws are mostly 3 to 4" long with a few at 5".

PM me or respond to this thread if you want to pick them up. I'm about 10 miles north of Sedalia, MO.
Posted By: Augie Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 07/26/21 06:01 PM
QA's crayfish are good breeders. I now have thousands of them in all sizes. HIghly recommended!
Posted By: Quarter Acre Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 07/27/21 02:03 PM
The last batch is spoken for....more to come in a few weeks! These won't see breeding season as they are destined TO BE SEASONED.
Posted By: FishinRod Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 07/28/21 04:34 AM
Originally Posted by Augie
QA's crayfish are good breeders. I now have thousands of them in all sizes.

I know some guys on the forum are exceptional at feed training their fish.

I really DON'T want to know how Noel has been "breed training" his crawdads! laugh
Posted By: Quarter Acre Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 07/28/21 12:04 PM
Originally Posted by FishinRod
Originally Posted by Augie
QA's crayfish are good breeders. I now have thousands of them in all sizes.

I know some guys on the forum are exceptional at feed training their fish.

I really DON'T want to know how Noel has been "breed training" his crawdads! laugh

If anything, I'm trying to learn a few things from them! shocked
Posted By: jpsdad Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 07/28/21 12:27 PM
Originally Posted by FishinRod
Originally Posted by Augie
QA's crayfish are good breeders. I now have thousands of them in all sizes.

I know some guys on the forum are exceptional at feed training their fish.

I really DON'T want to know how Noel has been "breed training" his crawdads! laugh


Well this I do know. QA's crayfish are feed trained. They'll swim up from bottom to grab feed at feeding time. He posted some pretty cool pics of this happening.
Posted By: SetterGuy Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 07/28/21 12:55 PM
I was lucky enough to get some of QA’s craws last summer. We are seeing more around the pond now. My SMB really work the shallows though, so I don’t think I’ll ever get enough to share.
Posted By: Quarter Acre Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 07/28/21 01:07 PM
Originally Posted by SetterGuy
I was lucky enough to get some of QA’s craws last summer. We are seeing more around the pond now. My SMB really work the shallows though, so I don’t think I’ll ever get enough to share.

Not having enough to share IS my goal...so, I'd say you are in a good place. Trapping this year has been a third less productive than last. The spring addition of CC and the trapping efforts seem to be assisting the goal even though my waters are still muddy.
Posted By: Quarter Acre Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 08/17/21 02:34 PM
It's time for another batch of northern virile crawdads to find a new home. There should be around 200 in the cage by this weekend - probably more, all 3 to 5 inches long. I won't have any trouble feeding them to my human friends, but thought I'd offer them to the forum members to pick-up first.

Respond here or PM me if your interested.
Posted By: CityDad Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 08/17/21 11:21 PM
Can you ship to FL?
Posted By: Quarter Acre Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 08/18/21 12:38 PM
Originally Posted by CityDad
Can you ship to FL?

These craws are for pick-up only and it is the new owner's liability to transport them to there new home.

Shipping crawdads would be an undesired effort on my part and I am so unfamiliar with the laws regarding them crossing state lines that I'd hate to get any bad attention from the conservation officials, let alone risk anybody else's legal wellbeing. I believe that it is illegal to bring crawdads into Missouri, not so sure about them leaving the state. In Missouri, the conservation department is near second to God. The authority they have is frightening if you get on their bad side. They take our natural resources more seriously than most would expect.

CityDad, This type of crawdad in not native to Florida nor do they seem to have established a population there.
Posted By: CityDad Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 08/18/21 02:47 PM
Darn :P
Posted By: FishinRod Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 08/18/21 04:33 PM
OTOH, the state of Florida has been following Noel's posts about his excellent 1/4-acre, virile crawdad breeding facility.

I heard through the grapevine, that they are preparing a multi-million dollar crawdad contract as soon as he can get a batch of craws feed trained to eat Burmese Pythons! laugh
Posted By: CityDad Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 08/21/21 02:28 PM
Link to noel's post?
Posted By: FishinRod Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 08/21/21 09:08 PM
CityDad,

Sorry about the confusion, I was making one of my typical bad "dad" jokes.

There are lots of positive comments in this thread from the people who have received Noel's crawdads and noted how quickly they reproduce. (After all, it says "virile" right there in the species name!)

I try to mark my "joke" posts with the laughing emoticon. laugh
Posted By: Bobbss Re: Crawdads...Free to a Good Home! - 08/21/21 09:44 PM
FishinRod, while I may not think all of your jokes are funny, I do catch them. Lol! And yes I'm joking. Lol!
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