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Thoughts on Crawdad removal
#522882 06/24/20 01:57 PM
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Having some turbidity issues that I believe are craw related as my arrowhead is even being cut down.
I stopped aeration 3 days ago as my vis is down to about 10".
Last fall I removed 3 5gal buckets full during net samples and I don't think I dented the population yet.
I have 3 CC left in pond 5-6lb'ers, (5/8ac) of the original 10.
Smallmouth are averaging 117 WR from this year so far and not 1 has had signs of craws-small or otherwise but my minnow population is almost unbelievable.
I'm wondering how long I could sustain craws in a 200 gallon tank? Does anybody NEED any northern virile craws??
Hate to just kill things but gotta get some improvement in water quality.
Run fry nets the last couple of days and have ran across quite a few smb from 3/4'-1.5"-pretty cool.
Any ideas or guidance would be well thought through and appreciated, I know I need to remove "some" and I'm ok with sorting and releasing small craws..thinking out-loud..
I should also add those that may have seen the post, I had a strange bacteria event that was killing craws this spring and it would appear it didn't get much of the total but I did find nearly 200 dead-mostly large-but even some larger ones left. When I say Large, I mean 7-8" from Tips to tail and up to 1-3/4" across shell. Was told these were papershells when I stocked the original 2lbs of 2" craws-obviously not what they are, but they are all identical.

Last edited by Snipe; 06/24/20 02:08 PM.

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Re: Thoughts on Crawdad removal
Snipe #522886 06/24/20 03:15 PM
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Wish I was close enough to be able to get some of those, am wanting to start some in my pond.


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Re: Thoughts on Crawdad removal
Snipe #522887 06/24/20 03:25 PM
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My wife and kids are leaving for Table Rock tomorrow night....
On second thought I may want to ask her if she has room for a bucket if you're interested...these are freebies of course.

Last edited by Snipe; 06/24/20 03:30 PM.

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Re: Thoughts on Crawdad removal
Snipe #522889 06/24/20 03:32 PM
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Snipe, do you feel strongly that the crawdads are causing your visibility issues?

All kinds of fish love to eat them, so it just seems odd that you're viewing them as non-beneficial.


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Re: Thoughts on Crawdad removal
Snipe #522890 06/24/20 03:48 PM
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I'm guessing the dead ones you found this spring died of old age at that size. Max lifespan on Northern crayfish is 3 years.

Last edited by Shorty; 06/25/20 07:32 AM.


Re: Thoughts on Crawdad removal
Snipe #522891 06/24/20 04:28 PM
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Nothing can eat these in my pond.. I have WAY too many I believe..

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


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Re: Thoughts on Crawdad removal
Snipe #522892 06/24/20 04:34 PM
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When I feed in the evening there are literally hundreds at the edge of bank waving claws for a pellet... it's unreal and yes, the turbidity (I believe) is from the craws. My banks are completely riprapped and water clears in a bucket overnight, it's not algae it's sediment. I don't have ducks, otters, beavers, etc..
maybe I need some otters..

Last edited by Snipe; 06/24/20 04:47 PM.

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Re: Thoughts on Crawdad removal
Snipe #522893 06/24/20 07:45 PM
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If you were is LA they would be an opportunity not a problem. Find a large pot or kettle and enjoy!


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Re: Thoughts on Crawdad removal
Snipe #522899 06/25/20 08:08 AM
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I have removed near 300 craws from my 1/4 acre pond this year by using my cloverleaf trap and fish food in a old sock (twist tied off) as a bait. They range in size from 3 to 5 inches, mostly in the 4 to 5" range. Odd that I don't catch any less than 3 inches. I get the best luck by far by setting the trap in the evening and letting it soak all night and changing the bait every time. I get anywhere from 10 to 30 per night. It seems that the catch rate dies off after a couple nights in a row, but will increase again after a couple days without the trap in the water. I think they are territorial and it may take a couple days for new ones to move back in where I place the trap. I only put the trap in by the dock out of ease as my pond's banks are "au naturel" and full of chiggers. I have a cage that I use to store them until they can be relocated...mostly to dinner tables. I am not a big fan of crawdad boils as I don't care much for the spices and my wife does not like to look at them whole, so...we give them a 5 minute boil, whole, then peel the tail meat out, rinse well, egg and batter and pan fry them with some oil...very similar to shrimp, but with little less seafood flavor and a less tender...still a good side to a dinner.

I plan to trap until the water clears up or I the catch rate drops dramatically...surely you can not completely trap the little buggars out.


Fish on!,
Noel
Re: Thoughts on Crawdad removal
highflyer #522900 06/25/20 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by highflyer
If you were is LA they would be an opportunity not a problem. Find a large pot or kettle and enjoy!
Last fall that's what I did with probably 500 or so.. very good, no doubt but I could feed an Army for weeks.
I had no idea that 2lbs of craws would explode like this, I wish I would have waited a year, maybe 2.
Lesson learnt!


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Re: Thoughts on Crawdad removal
Snipe #522904 06/25/20 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Snipe
Nothing can eat these in my pond.. I have WAY too many I believe..

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
Call Red Lobster and make a deal.


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Re: Thoughts on Crawdad removal
Snipe #522905 06/25/20 10:20 AM
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Lots of crayfish to an abundance does definitely cause turbidity issues.


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Re: Thoughts on Crawdad removal
Snipe #522912 06/25/20 01:16 PM
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Stock a bunch of spotted bass. I’ve heard they love craws wink


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Re: Thoughts on Crawdad removal
Snipe #522913 06/25/20 03:13 PM
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Yep.. Got spots growing. Not sure if I'm ready for that yet NEDOC. I think if I get that far I'll put a few adult craws back when spots are 12"+.. haven't decided how to work that experiment yet.


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Re: Thoughts on Crawdad removal
Snipe #522914 06/25/20 03:20 PM
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Gonna be awhile before this 3" monster can hurt the craw monster above.
This dude just hammered a 1.5" GSH I thought was too big..
seriously, how long could several hundred craws be left in a holding tank??

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Last edited by Snipe; 06/25/20 03:22 PM.

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Re: Thoughts on Crawdad removal
Snipe #522918 06/25/20 04:50 PM
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I have scads of crawdads that are muddying up one 1/4 acre pond. There are about a dozen CC over three pounds and up to five or six pounds. They should wipe out the craws, shouldn't they? Maybe if I quit feeding pellets?

The other 1/4 acre pond has maybe three to five bass in the 2-3 pound range, and about 5 CC of 3 to 6 pounds. I don't see many craws there.
Must be the LMB eating them?

Re: Thoughts on Crawdad removal
Snipe #522927 06/26/20 06:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Snipe
seriously, how long could several hundred craws be left in a holding tank??

Within 3 days in a tank without food, they will start to get pretty hungry, may even start to eat each other. Without water changes in those three days, the water will start to get very high in ammonia and start to poison them. Temperature will also rise in those three days, given our current summer time heat, worsening the situation. 3 days is about what I'd expect before suffering begins in a unkept tank, but certain death depends on the size of tank, number of crawdads, temperature, food, & filtration/water changes.


Fish on!,
Noel
Re: Thoughts on Crawdad removal
Snipe #522942 06/26/20 10:06 AM
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Snipe, have you tried the commercial crawfish traps that are used down here in Louisiana? They seem to work pretty well for harvesting crawfish.


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Re: Thoughts on Crawdad removal
Snipe #522964 06/26/20 08:12 PM
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Finding and using the proper bait in traps is likely a big part of the success of catching and removing crayfish. Experimentation with various baits may be very educational. Trap design is probably another big part of success.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 06/26/20 08:14 PM.

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Re: Thoughts on Crawdad removal
Snipe #522968 06/26/20 10:32 PM
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I've been using a couple of designs the last 2 nights and there is something to be said about how hard a trap full of craws is on non-target fish. Cloverleaf sure catches craws but any fish that gets in is toast. I lose several 4-6" YP every night when they get into the cloverleaf. I've got to try something different although the std funnel traps do catch craws just not many at a time.
The issue is trying to get the largest lobster-like craws, they are big enough they can't get "in" a std trap. This calls for some design work so am trying to make something work.
23.5lbs of craws removed in 2 nights, 2 traps. smaller than about 3" going back but that's only been about 7lbs worth.


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Re: Thoughts on Crawdad removal
Snipe #523028 06/29/20 10:15 AM
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I built a crayfish trap last week. Based the design on this one:
https://www.amazon.com/South-Bend-W...yfish+trap&qid=1593442949&sr=8-2

I baited it with a big BG head Thursday night and caught 30 or so. Dropped it back in just to see if they would figure out how to escape.
Pulled it Friday evening. The BG head was nothing but bone, and there was only a couple little craws still in the trap.
I put the carcass of a small channel cat in it Friday around dusk and chucked it in the pond.
Pulled it Saturday around lunchtime after I got back from the river. It was loaded. I'm sure there would have been more in there if I'd pulled it before I left to go fishing.

[Linked Image from hosting.photobucket.com]

Last edited by Augie; 07/08/20 03:41 PM. Reason: fixed the pic, thanks for nothing PhotoBucket
Re: Thoughts on Crawdad removal
Snipe #523065 06/30/20 12:55 AM
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Augie, that design looks good. I modified a std funnel minnow trap and I figured out how to get the big boys. I cut into the opening of a 1/4" mesh minnow funnel and open it up to about 3". I filled an old sock with fish food and ty-wrapped to one half of trap. That sucker was FULL of big-dog craws this am. Only set 3 traps last night and caught only 7lbs total and only put 3 smaller craws back. I'm keeping after it until I don't see big craws or big numbers any more.
May try a piece of fish or chicken leftovers or something. Snakes have always worked great for us in traps but it's Russian roulette trying to actually find a rattler-which usually doesn't take much looking.. not many garters and I leave the bull snakes alone because they are too beneficial.
I don't know how long I can go with aeration off but I'm thinking I need to start that back up slowly at night soon.


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Re: Thoughts on Crawdad removal
Snipe #523066 06/30/20 05:30 AM
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Snipe,

The craws in you pond look like Northern (virile) Crayfish. Unlike our southern craws, they have a distinct yearly cycle where they exude eggs in spring and mate and in fall. You are making good ground on the big ones but they grow fast as long as they are not overpopulated. A good time to harvest again after thinning now will be this Fall.

The virile crayfish has large claws and stand up to fish better than other craws by displaying the outsized claws. One thing that may help to feed the fish is to remove claws and throw them back. If a fish can swallow them ... they will be gonners without their claws.

The sexes can be distinguished from each other and you probably wouldn't want to take it this far but a fall harvest of all trapped males and 2/3 of the females could produce a bumper crop of crays next spring that your fish could eat.

Re: Thoughts on Crawdad removal
Snipe #523070 06/30/20 08:14 AM
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Photobucket still hosed so no pic yet.

I made this one from scrap wire that I had left over from building fish cages.

Outside dimension is ~1'x1'x1'. The opening at the top of the ramp is 1.5"x3", which is plenty big for the largest crays to pass through, but it's also easy for them to get back out.
I think pulling it at first light would minimize the number of escapees.

There's no "funnel" at the opening. It's just a notch cut in a flat piece of mesh that gaps the ramp to the top and sides of the trap. On the commercial version the "wings" between
the sides and the opening are angled towards the opening. I'm not sure that would really make much difference in how many crays find their way in or back out.

I've only soaked it twice, but it caught very few fish. No YP either time, and only a couple BG/HBG/GSF. There were a couple bullfrog tadpoles in it after the 2nd soak.

I was just looking to whip something up that was cheap and quick that could be put together with stuff that I had laying around. That goal was accomplished.
Is there room for improvement? Definitely. If I wanted to do more than population sampling/thinning and catching some fishbait I'd buy a couple of these from
Memphis Net and Twine.
https://www.memphisnet.net/product/2847/traps-fish-collapsible

Re: Thoughts on Crawdad removal
Snipe #523082 06/30/20 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Snipe
I've been using a couple of designs the last 2 nights and there is something to be said about how hard a trap full of craws is on non-target fish. Cloverleaf sure catches craws but any fish that gets in is toast. I lose several 4-6" YP every night when they get into the cloverleaf. I've got to try something different although the std funnel traps do catch craws just not many at a time.
The issue is trying to get the largest lobster-like craws, they are big enough they can't get "in" a std trap. This calls for some design work so am trying to make something work.
23.5lbs of craws removed in 2 nights, 2 traps. smaller than about 3" going back but that's only been about 7lbs worth.

I'd focus on the finding perfect bait, like Bill said.

Maybe stinkier is better? Ideally, it will make fish go the other way, yet still bring the Craws in.

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