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#371162 04/04/14 01:24 AM
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Reading this thread SMB/YP/RES in one acre dug pond brought up questions about stocking crayfish in a pond.

I have thought about it before and actually did put a half dozen small ones in our new pond out of our road ditch Have no idea if they made it or not (before I discovered PBF and knew to ask lots of questions before doing such things).

The previous thread as well as a comment from Bill Cody got me to thinking about it again, since I have a brand new forage pond that has not filled yet.

It is said not to use burrowing type but instead use a non burrowing type. Seems they all burrow to some degree under certain conditions, but some live in burrows all the time. At least that is what it seems like my research to date suggests.

For example the Calico crayfish is one recommended for ponds and is sold as such. I found out it is native to northern Kansas but not to my SE Ks area. Calico or paper shell crayfish - Orconectes immunis "Females will retreat to burrows or secluded areas to lay eggs." - so much for not burrowing.



So I thought to myself, "self, I wonder if there is a non-burrowing type that is native to my area that I could collect locally and introduce into my forage pond".

Here is what I have found to date:

This article is very instructive of the river/stream varieties that are common to my area. Crayfish from creeks and rivers of Cherokee county Kansas That should be right on the money.

Common types are Orconectes virilis (Northern Crayfish )and Orconectes Neglectus (Ringed Crayfish). Note these are the ones found in area streams. I'm going to assume these are the non-burrowing type. Someone set me straight if that is wrong. The other type common is a burrowing type Cambarus diogenes (Devil Crayfish).

What I "think" is the case is the Northern is what I find in the creek and small streams here on the farm. The Devil is what I find out in creek bottom fields that build the big mounds over their holes when the weather get dry. This is the article that leads me to believe this. Crayfish in Kansas

Excerpts:

The devil crayfish lives in burrows in timbered or formerly
timbered areas along the floodplains of streams. Its presence is often revealed by conspicuous mud chimneys. In early spring, young and some adults occur in roadside pools and other temporary waters.

Northern Crayfish - This crayfish may be very abundant in the pools of rocky streams.

So, would it be safe to say I should avoid the Devil and source some Northern Crayfish to put in my forage pond? Or will these "stream" crayfish not survive or thrive in a pond environment?

The other species (Ringed) I don't recall seeing (can't recall ever seeing a crawdad with the distinctivbe black bands on the pincers) and I think are more in the Spring river tributaries where there is clear water and flowing streams. So I don't think they are an option.

Any opinions? I have read some warnings to not introduce invasive species, so importing the Calico might not be a good idea.

Edit: PDF download Crayfish in Kansas


Last edited by snrub; 10/20/18 01:10 PM.

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Northern Crayfish

Northern Wiki

Devil Crayfish

More on the Northern, which is the one I think I want to collect and stock. "Most often confused with the spothanded crayfish (Orconectes punctimanus) and the papershell crayfish (Orconectes immunis)". So maybe similar to papershell??? Or just looks like it. wink
Northern crayfish info

Last edited by snrub; 04/04/14 02:11 AM.

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In the ponds where I've stocked Papershells, I've never seen any burrows. But, there is also rip-rap or broken pieces of concrete that has cavities between the rocks to form natural burrows for them to hide in. Since crayfish can and will crawl over land to reach new bodies of water, the ones that are only found in streams and creeks might not stay in your pond, they prefer flowing water.


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If you are seeing burrows or chimneys outside the pond and the pond still has water, then those are not made by papershell crayfish.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 04/04/14 09:05 AM.

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laugh Right.

That is kind of what I was trying to avoid seeing by stocking a proper crayfish. laugh

If I see the mounds of dirt over the holes around the pond dam, it will be evidence of having chose poorly. cry


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Originally Posted By: esshup
In the ponds where I've stocked Papershells, I've never seen any burrows. But, there is also rip-rap or broken pieces of concrete that has cavities between the rocks to form natural burrows for them to hide in. Since crayfish can and will crawl over land to reach new bodies of water, the ones that are only found in streams and creeks might not stay in your pond, they prefer flowing water.


Ok, thanks. The ones I am thinking of (which I believe to be Northern till I get a chance to catch some and actually look at them again closely) actually are in a small seasonal stream that runs by the backside of the dams on both of my ponds. When I caught them as a kid and later caught them for my kids when they were little we always caught them in the rock crossings that my dad had made out of sandstone rocks he picked up out of the farm fields. A low water crossing of a small creek. We have two of them about an eight of a mile apart. The streams do not run in the dry part of the summer but have pools that keep water in them in all but the very most severe drought. We could always find small crawdads by turning over the rocks and catching them by hand or a small dip net. So this particular variety would be used to at least part of the year having no running water. But they might want the running water (nearly always in spring here) to reproduce so I can see your point of them migrating for "greener pastures".

On another note, the borrowing type (which I believe to be the Devil crayfish till I get a chance for identification later) are often found at the water entrance of about any old pond in this area that has a shallow area that floods then goes dry. Or in about any of the flood plain along creeks with the proper conditions. Pictures below of old crawdad burrow holes that have filled back up. This were found during excavation of the pond where the holes existed, then filled up with muck during a later period after the hole was abandoned. Thus the change in color of the soil. Found these at my old pond in a shallow area during refurbishing. Found these in sons pond in the bottom where the dam had been breeched for many years and the pond had really turned into a seasonal mud hole instead of a pond. And found these while digging new portion of daughters pond near a seasonal creek under about 4 feet of soil (probably ancient crawdad holes covered up by a hundred years of sediment).

I have found at least one piece of literature that states the burrowing type rarely cause water loss from the pond. This seems to be in conflict of the general message here on PBF. My suspicion is that in my particular area where they are native, they will nearly always show up in areas that tend to stay wet and may seasonally flood. Found evidence in all three old ponds I have refurbished. I also suspect in our clay pan soils (where there is no clay liner to be perforated and we do not have to have compacted pond bottoms to hold water) the burrowing does not cause that much concern. I can't recall ever seeing the mounds in a pond dam (not saying they can't be, just saying I have not observed it). I always see them in a seasonally wet area where the water enters the pond from the watershed. But having said that (that I'm not too worried about that type draining a pond in SE Ks), they also probably would do very little in the way of being beneficial as fish forage. They spend most of their lives in a burrow near the pond but not in the pond, where they could be consumed by the fish.

So for fish forage it seems I want a type that lives in the water. The paper shell seems the recomended variety here on PBF. But I am thinking that maybe the Northern variety may be very similar to the paper shell, but just the locally resident and adapted variety to this area. After all, the paper shell (Calico) is shown to be native to the northern part of Kansas, but not here in the south. If the Northern would be similar to the paper shell in characteristics, but better adapted to this area, they might be a better choice than the paper shell plus the additional benefit of not introducing a non-native species.

I'm mostly thinking out loud esshup and Bill Cody. These are just thoughts I am coming up with from reading more than I ever previously knew I wanted to know about crayfish last night, and thinking of possibilities for my new tiny forage pond. I am in no way trying to say my opinion is correct, but am bouncing ideas off you guys and others to see if my logic and way of thinking has merit.

Currently I am thinking it would be of no benefit of stocking the burrowing type (though probably of no great harm in our particular situation because we have the burrowing type everywhere there is seasonal water like in road ditches and even in ponds if we have the correct conditions to support them). The type that live in creeks and streams might work out well, or as esshup suggests they might just migrate back to the (very close nearby) stream they came from.

Just thinking out loud and seeking input. I would not mind ordering some of the soft shell (Calico) but am concerned of several web sites talking about Kansas and Missouri discouraging introducing non native species. Although I would imagine bait shops probably sell the Calico.

I don't recall ever setting foot in a bait shop. Maybe it is time I did and do some inquiring. wink

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Last edited by snrub; 04/04/14 11:40 AM.

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snrub:

You're on the right track. With the equipment and knowledge that you have, you can pretty easily fix any whups that you might run across. That's the way we learn, is by trying different things.

Everybody's ponds are different too. Cecil only has a narrow dam between 2 ponds where a burrowing cray might cause a problem, others like myself have sandy soil, dug ponds with no dam, so burrowing wouldn't cause any more problems than there already are.

Habitat for the crayfish makes a HUGE difference in whether they survive or not. For example, I use my pond as a test bed. It's a LONG ways to any other waterway. I stocked a couple hundred Rusty's in my pond a year before I renovated it. Without places to hide, the LMB and CC ate every one - 0 crayfish were found in the pond during renovations. I had WEM and Spatterdock in my pond before the renovations, and I didn't care if the Rustys ate all the plants. They were eaten before they could!


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Ok. That is helpful information.

That is where I am thinking that in my new forage pond they might be beneficial. In the big pond they are likely going to get slaughered like in your pond (once my LMB get big enough, bass only a few inches long right now). But if I have a ready supply to trap and throw right next door into the big pond, maybe they would survive long enough to eat some vegetation (filamentous algae right now) before they become LMB snacks.

Something to play with anyway.

Last edited by snrub; 04/04/14 11:49 AM.

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I stocked 500 papershells (from a source I no longer trust), but I believe I actually got papershells. I see maybe a mound or two around my 1/4 acre pond.

The problem I found is that my pond has some drainage pipes running into it and the crays crawled up them. I am making a lot of attempts to add crayfish habitat this year to keep them happy and staying in the pond. My other problem is I have a stream that comes within 200ft of the pond. I have no way of telling if they are migrating to that stream or not.

I stocked 500 last year and have no predators for them this year. I'm hoping they pull off a good spawn. My goal for crayfish was to use their spawn as an additional food source for my YOY. Pond goals have changed for me now, but I would still like to have a spawning population of crays.

We'll see where I end up in a few years

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snrub - Your thinking after reading some info sounds okay. I think the northern crayfish will be as good as calico (papershell) in your ponds. I doubt the papershell will migrate out of your pond to the creek as long as the pond has ample habitat and food. Not too sure about migration tendency of the northern crayfish. Different crayfish species have different or unique migration and digging habits.


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Hope you have a good spawn.

I read a fair amount about crayfish, and it seems like even the ones considered "non-burrowing" will make burrows if water becomes limited. They burrow down to create water to keep their gills wet I would assume.

The real burrowing type, on the other hand, we can find out in a farm field an eighth of a mile from any water. In our creek bottom fields that are in the flood plain, in the summer as it gets dry, I have seen the mounds out in the middle of the field. One time I kicked the mud seal off the top and dropped a tiny clod down the hole. I heard it hit water I would guess about 3 feet down.

Good luck. I have a trap set out to try and catch some what I assume will be "northern" crayfish in a small seasonal creek behind my ponds. Have half a BG in the trap and nothing yet. Think the water may be a little too cold yet. I want to catch them early before they spawn and put some in my new forage pond. Only has about 6" of water so far, but these crayfish live in a few inches of water in the creek so think it will be ok till rain fills the pond. Will see if I have any luck trapping some.

Get this............. this source Northern Crayfish says the Soft Shell or Calico makes mud chimneys (towards the bottom of article belor "other crayfish in Manitoba). So what is going on? Is this source incorrect? Or can all crayfish burrow and make chimneys? Just some more so than others? I'm confused (which is not really unusual).

Last edited by snrub; 04/09/14 10:49 AM.

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Will read this later tonight but should have some information relative to my needs and maybe others.

Talks about "Kansas Pond Crayfish", so that ought to be close enough to home for my purposes. Was actually written by Purdue.

Culture Potential of Selected Crayfish

Quote about the Papershell:
Orconectes immunis
are widely dispersed
throughout the North Central Region of the
United States. Hobbs and Jass (1988) describe the
range as extending from Colorado and Wyoming
in the west to the New England states in the east.
O. immunis
are found north to Ontario and
Manitoba, Canada, and south to Mississippi and
Alabama. They primarily inhabit ponds, backwa-
ters, and slow moving streams. They can tolerate
lower dissolved oxygen levels than other species
(Bovbjerg 1970) and can sometimes be found in
temporary pools. They have been known to walk
considerable distances overland (Crocker and
Barr 1968), then burrow when ponds dry or with
the approach of autumn (Gunderson and
Kapuscinski 1992). In many permanent waters,
the papershell crayfish does not burrow
(Hobbs
and Jass 1988). They are frequently found in
muddy, soft-bottomed lakes which support
vegetation (Tack 1941). (my emphasis underlined)

So sounds like they can burrow when needed, but usually don't when adequate water is available.

Last edited by snrub; 04/09/14 11:02 AM.

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It appears the variety that I find in our ditch in front of our house might be different from the variety found in the stream below our house. Hopefully I can catch some later this spring and compare.

Here is an atricle about a study done on two species of Kansas crayfish. Most may not be interested in this information, but putting it here in case others in the same general area might find the information useful at some future point.

Immunis and Nais varieties

Specifically it says Immunis is found in roadside ditches, Nais is found in streams and ponds. (Douglas county Kansas, north of me a ways). So I still don't know what is here locally, as Immunis (Paper shell or Calico) are supposed to be north of here and the Northern variety Virillis is what is supposed to be here. But we have lots of crayfish in our roadside ditches and lots of crayfish in our streams and ponds. So still not sure what variety I have here on this place, but it sounds like it (or more than one) might be suitable for inclusion in a forage pond. The article also states that each variety is found in a specific type of habitat and rarely found together. Yet the paper shell (Immunis)is what is most often sold commercially for ponds............ still confused.

Edit: Ok this quote makes me believe this is the most likely variety for my area and should be suitable for inclusion in my forage pond:
Culture Potential of Selected Crayfishes

O. nais aka water nymph crayfish
is found in a range of aquatic areas. It is
found in both slowly moving to swiftly moving
streams. It is also found in ponds and ditches
which are free of vegetation and also choked with
vegetation (Williams and Leonard 1952)

O. nais
is not a primary burrowing species, but
lives in open water and under rocks. At times it
will make shallow burrows under grass tussocks
at the edge of the water and in muddy or clayey
banks (Williams and Leonard 1952).


Last edited by Bill Cody; 04/09/14 01:21 PM. Reason: added common name

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Snrub is becoming our resident expert on crayfish. Keep up the good work. Learning from reading and experience does make one knowledgable about a subject.
Snrub concludes about papershells (calicos) : "So sounds like they can burrow when needed, but usually don't when adequate water is available."
I agree with this conclusion and it is my experience which is confirmed by the nationally known crayfish expert Roger Thoma. There are no doubt several species that can live in pond type habitats with the same lifestyle of usually not making deep burrows but will burrow when needed to keep themselves moist or wet. Orconectes nais (water nymph crayfish) apparently has a similar lifestyle as the papershell - calico crayfish (O. immunus).

Crayfish burrowing behavior falls into two categories primary and secondary. Each specie tends to 'fall into' one of the categories. Primary being always or usually making burrows and secondary rarely or occasionally creating burrows.

For Reference: the northern crayfish is technically called Orconectes virilis. Here is some basic info about O. virilis the northern crayfish.
http://www.naturenorth.com/fall/crayfish/Fcray2.html

Species of crayfish that belong to the genus Orconectes:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orconectes

Snrub notes above that papershell crayfish is commonly sold for ponds. You should be careful and buyer beware when buying crayfish for pond stocking. Sellers often do not know well how to recognize crayfish species. Crayfish are often harder to tell apart than fish - similar to identifying 'shiner minnows'. What type or specie of crayfish that you buy can depend on the location of the grower. What ever lives or they collect in their fish pond is what the fish farm sells. I have bought crayfish that had both papershell and rusty crayfish in the same "bucket". I sorted them before putting them in my pond.

Luckyseven notes: "I stocked 500 papershells (from a source I no longer trust), but I believe I actually got papershells. I see maybe a mound or two around my 1/4 acre pond."
I also stocked about 500 crayfish in a minnow pond and see a few crayfish mounds or holes around this same pond. However the mounds and holes outside the pond are not built by papershell crayfish, but by a different genus of crayfish the Cambarus (mudbug) which migrated into the pond from the local creek.

I agree, chimney mounds outside a pond are almost never made by papershell crayfish if the pond has water in it. Often creek or ditch dwelling crayfish will travel long distances during rainy nights.

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Very interesting post...I learned this past weekend that I have sorely underestimated the importance of crayfish in my specific ecology.

Caught 8 'eating size' LMB out of the little pond. I checked the stomach contents of the 4 largest. The contents consisted of:

1 small LMB
literally dozens of crayfishes - whole and in parts

obviously as of right now anyway the crayfish are a major food source for my small pond.

I believe I'll be switching colors on some of my lure selections.


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The bass don't eat the rusty crayfish? Seems like they are hardy and prolific enough that the bass wouldn't mind eating them as well?

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Originally Posted By: canyoncreek
The bass don't eat the rusty crayfish? Seems like they are hardy and prolific enough that the bass wouldn't mind eating them as well?


my lake in WI has rustys and the bass eat the heck out of them.
They can be considered invasive and it is said to not spread them. Im sure most the water bodies near you in W. MI. already have them as the primary crayfish though.

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Bass eat rusty crayfish but just not as easily as papershells. Rustys get a little larger and more defensive than papershells, thus the adults would last longer as a breeding population. As usual there are pros and cons to everything you do in your pond. It all depends.


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I would not mind having a defensive crayfish in my pond at all. My bass wont be large enough to eat adult crayfish until next year, so I'm hoping the 500 I stocked in my 1/4 will be able to establish a good footing by that time.

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Hey, you guys are wasting time discussing a simple subject.
All you need is a big pot of Cajun seasoned boiling water over a big propane burner - add small new potatoes and corn on the cob and drop a big sack of mudbugs the size of small lobsters!
Serve them on newspapers on tables and chow down for a feast!
Yeah, suck the heads!!
Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm - good!
laugh
G/



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smile Reminds me of a time our scuba diving club held an event at a regional lake. One of the activities was a night dive/snorkel (could do either one) for a crawdad "hunt". Gave out prizes for largest, most, etc crawdads. My oldest son might have been 9 or 10 years old and he and I snorkeled and caught crawdads together. The guys on Scuba pretty well took the "biggest" category as the larger ones were down a little deeper. Son and I mostly floated on the top of the water close to the shore with our lights and picked up tons of small ones. Dove down a few feet if we saw one. We did pretty good on the numbers part as the smaller ones were pretty thick up in the shallows of this cove we were in. He has always remembered that night fondly and comments on it once in a while.

Then after the awards were calculated the bugs went into a pot of boiling water with some "crab boil" seasoning and we had a feast. I'm not much of a seafood eater so the taste did not impress me that much but my wife loves lobster and she thought the fresh crawdads tasted pretty close. She consumed my share.

Good times. grin

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Originally Posted By: Lukkyseven
I would not mind having a defensive crayfish in my pond at all. My bass wont be large enough to eat adult crayfish until next year, so I'm hoping the 500 I stocked in my 1/4 will be able to establish a good footing by that time.


Be sure to let us know how it turns out. I'm going to try and capture some local ones and put them in my new forage pond to see if I can produce some for my main pond. Don't now if A. I can catch enough to do any good and B. the FHM's that I just put in the pond to reproduce will leave the crayfish alone enough to ever allow the young to make it.

I've lined about half of the forage pond with 2-3" limestone rock so the tiny ones should have some cover.

Gives me something interesting to try out anyway and if the crayfish fail, I still have the FHM's

Last edited by snrub; 04/10/14 11:11 AM.

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I'd bet that I was eating crawfish out of the local lake before any other Yankee thought about it. wink

My little sister wasn't even in kindergarden yet.


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I'm from Southern Maryland, and if anyone thinks crayfish taste great, I guess you haven't had steamed blue crabs. Sorry had to get that in. smile

Anyhow we have lots of different crayfish species here. We have the common and the virile and the devil, but we also have white rivers and red swamps.

I come across some impressive crayfish holes in my travels. Like his one.



I fish lots of ponds. I always spot these crayfish holes, I'll take some more pics. But the ponds around here are all creek fed with a spillway back into the creek. These native crayfish come in from the creeks, into the ponds.

The level in these ponds never fluctuates. The holes do not make a difference here.

I'll bet if a pond had rip rap shoreline, it wouldn't have crayfish holes. wink

But if anyone was worried about crayfish making holes, shucks just put your own crayfish holes in the pond.


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I also noticed that they move across land when its wet or rainy. My house is way uphill and about 150 yards away through the woods from a stormwater easement type pond. No roads trails or anything, just woods.

We have spotted not only crayfish but turtles including snappers and pond turtles in our yard. I don't know what they are looking for, except the pond turtles lay eggs in my yard and bury them.


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Bricks with holes are neat idea for crayfish habitat.

That ought to go in the habitat archives.


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Originally Posted By: snrub

I have a trap set out to try and catch some what I assume will be "northern" crayfish in a small seasonal creek behind my ponds. Have half a BG in the trap and nothing yet. Think the water may be a little too cold yet. I want to catch them early before they spawn and put some in my new forage pond. Only has about 6" of water so far, but these crayfish live in a few inches of water in the creek so think it will be ok till rain fills the pond. Will see if I have any luck trapping some.


Hey Snrub,

How did this all turn out? Did you catch some from the creek? If yes, what kind were they? You might have said somewhere and I missed it but, end of the day, what did you end up doing?

Bill D.


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We had an exceptionally dry spring. Ended up growing exceptional crops, but because of "just in time" rain with very little runoff.

As a result, the normal flow of small seasonal streams where these crayfish would normally be found was nonexistent. This springs lack of water along with a pretty bad drought last year simply was not good for crayfish reproduction, at least in the areas I checked and would normally expect to see them. They likely were in the larger creeks but did not go there.

Another issue is that I got some PK shrimp and put in my forage pond. After introducing these shrimp, I kind of lost the desire to stock crayfish. At least for a while till I see how the PK shrimp reproduce.

I've had crayfish in aquariums before. Mean little critters. In one case my wife was wondering why her beautiful fluffy tail goldfish had ragged tails and were loosing length. I had put a few very small (1.5" crayfish in the aquarium. We figured it out one day when we seen a crayfish hitching a ride behind a frantic goldfish, the crayfish hanging onto the fish tail with the bigger pincer, and picking off bits and eating with one of the small pincers. I thought it hilarious. Wife did not. Crayfish were removed from aquarium. In another later incident, we had some very small GSF and assorted minnows in an aquarium for our then small kids to observe. They had also caught some small mussels and a few very small crayfish. Like 1" long. I would have just dumped them in the aquarium, but wife went to a lot of trouble making a really nice environment. Got some pond grass/weed of some sort out of the creek, planted it in dirt in containers in the bottom of aquarium, went all out. Really looked nice. The 3 or 4 crayfish proceeded to un-plant all the plants and generally dig all the dirt out of her very carefully planted containers and generally make a mess of things. They arranged things to suit themselves and not my wife.

Crayfish are industrious, mean little critters. I was afraid if I put a bunch of them in with my newly acquired PK shrimp, the crayfish might make a snack of them. So I temporarily gave up on the crayfish idea in favor of the PK shrimp.

Will wait and see how the PK shrimp goes, then may reconsider the crayfish.

Last edited by snrub; 01/12/15 09:16 PM.

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Originally Posted By: snrub
We had an exceptionally dry spring. Ended up growing exceptional crops, but because of "just in time" rain with very little runoff.

As a result, the normal flow of small seasonal streams where these crayfish would normally be found was nonexistent. This springs lack of water along with a pretty bad drought last year simply was not good for crayfish reproduction, at least in the areas I checked and would normally expect to see them. They likely were in the larger creeks but did not go there.

Another issue is that I got some PK shrimp and put in my forage pond. After introducing these shrimp, I kind of lost the desire to stock crayfish. At least for a while till I see how the PK shrimp reproduce.

I've had crayfish in aquariums before. Mean little critters. In one case my wife was wondering why her beautiful fluffy tail goldfish had ragged tails and were loosing length. I had put a few very small (1.5" crayfish in the aquarium. We figured it out one day when we seen a crayfish hitching a ride behind a frantic goldfish, the crayfish hanging onto the fish tail with the bigger pincer, and picking off bits and eating with one of the small pincers. I thought it hilarious. Wife did not. Crayfish were removed from aquarium. In another later incident, we had some very small GSF and assorted minnows in an aquarium for our then small kids to observe. They had also caught some small mussels and a few very small crayfish. Like 1" long. I would have just dumped them in the aquarium, but wife went to a lot of trouble making a really nice environment. Got some pond grass/weed of some sort out of the creek, planted it in dirt in containers in the bottom of aquarium, went all out. Really looked nice. The 3 or 4 crayfish proceeded to un-plant all the plants and generally dig all the dirt out of her very carefully planted containers and generally make a mess of things. They arranged things to suit themselves and not my wife.

Crayfish are industrious, mean little critters. I was afraid if I put a bunch of them in with my newly acquired PK shrimp, the crayfish might make a snack of them. So I temporarily gave up on the crayfish idea in favor of the PK shrimp.

Will wait and see how the PK shrimp goes, then may reconsider the crayfish.


LOL! I had one in an aquarium when I was in college a million years ago. Took on the color of the red brick chips in the bottom of the tank. Seemed like it molted all the time and just kept getting bigger. My red tail sharks kept disappearing. One night I saw the crayfish perched in the top of one of the fake plants and it jumped out of the plant as a fish swam by and tried to loop its claws around it trying to catch it. Mean critters is right!


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Species classified as Primary burrowing crayfish will still crawl out of a pond filled with great habitat and make chimney burrows. They can't 'help it', It is in their genetic make up. It is what they do when the reproduction urge 'strikes'. Secondary burrowing crayfish rarely burrow and usually crate shallow burrows depending on the species and habitat conditions.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 01/14/15 09:36 AM.

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any one ever stock signal crayfish?


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Another crayfish thread.

Helpful Crayfish info


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any one ever stock signal crayfish?


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Been trying to trap crayfish with zero luck.

I go out early this morning at 3am to check out what is going on around the ponds. While finding frogs and various FHM's, BG, tadpoles, dragonfly larvae and other critters............. there in the sediment pond............amongst the rocks..........was a crayfish about 3/4" long. I could not believe it. I had been watching for grass shrimp (none seen yet this spring) but seeing the crayfish bowled me over.

Must have moved up from the creek all by himself cause I sure didn't put him there. So looks like I might have crayfish in the sediment pond at least, without even stocking them.

Last edited by snrub; 04/19/15 07:59 AM.

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snrub,

I don't know how close it is to your place, but I grew up fishing the Quivira Scout Ranch lake (by Sedan). Much of the shoreline ranges from sandstone boulders down to small rocks and sand.

Sometimes in the spring on a good day you could catch 50 bass in the 10"-16" range. When you lipped the fish, there would be crayfish feelers sticking up out of the gullet on 48 of the 50 bass. They would also be in the stomachs when we cleaned fish.

I had similar experiences fishing rocky creeks. I don't know about farm ponds without rocks, but I think crayfish are a significant portion of a bass's spring diet from rocky habitat in your neck of the woods.

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I put 60 lbs in my ponds yesterday....

I'll let ya know how it goes.

http://www.cajuncrawfishco.com/faq.live_crawfish_faq.asp


Fishing has never been about the fish....

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I am hoping to stock them this year as well. I want to get the pond renovation done, crawfish habitat in place and appropriate vegetation going first. May have to wait till next year but, hope not! smile


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Mark, how much per pound? Did they ship them directly to you or?


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Originally Posted By: Dave Davidson1
Mark, how much per pound? Did they ship them directly to you or?


Dave the Crawdaddy store happens to be 15 mins from my house,
so I ordered two 30 lb bags Friday morning and picked them up
Sat morning on the way out to the property. They were $3.25
a pound. I paid just under $200 for 60 lbs. These appeared
much better quality and more alive than the ones at the local
Asian market.

http://www.cajuncrawfishco.com/



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I have stocked approximately 1200 native crawfish into the pond, I tried trapping but seining worked best. I was not able to find out what species or type of craw I had on the property but I have a lot of them this yr. The size of the craws were from !/4" to 2". I have found none to be over 2" I have no vegetation for them to hide in so I don't think they will make it this year but since they are so small the RES should feast on them. and when the CBLMN go in the pond they will be nailing the craws for sure. And I have about 10 small holes with no chimneys and about 5 with chimneys. But I am not worried about it because I know the CBLMB will take them out lol

Tracy


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Tracy
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From time to time these interesting crayfish threads pop back up. If Mr. Cody or snrub are maintaining an archive then I would add this slide show link. I know this is a wealth of knowledge on identifying crayfish that is beyond most of us, but I bet Mr. Cody will feel very comfortable reading through this.

I found the pictures of the molt and the more obvious differences in the photos in the adult male and female crayfish to be very helpful. I now know what to look for when the crayfish are 'in berry' as well.

take a look through this interesting presentation.

Crayfish ID Resource - Great Pictures!!


This webpage also has many crayfish with pictures and more information.

Picture ID of crayfish common in southern US states



Last edited by canyoncreek; 03/20/19 08:55 PM.
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Great info Canyon! I will add a very useful link to help identify the following species...

Red swamp crawfish (Procambarus clarkii)
White River crawfish (Procambarus acutus)
Calico (papershell) crayfish (Orconectes immunis)
Rusty crayfish (Orconectes rusticus)
Virile (northern) crayfish

This Missouri Conservation Document was key for me to make sure that the crawdads I bucket stocked into my pond were the native Virile. You simply can not ID these critters with the everyday photos...

https://huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/sites/default/files/downloads/crayfish_id_brochure_6-08_0.pdf


Fish on!,
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2016

The Crayfish of Nebraska

Steven C. Schainost
Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1073&context=nebgamewhitepap

From page 59

Quote:
Northern crayfish will eat fish eggs and sac-fry. One study tested the impact of egg
predation of Northern crayfish on pumpkinseed(Lepomis gibbosus) and bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) in ponds. In densely vegetated ponds, pumpkinseed had delayed reproduction and lower young-of-year biomass due to crayfish predation. In less vegetated ponds, crayfish prevented bluegill reproduction except in crayfish proof exclosures.


From page 13.

Quote:
Primary burrowers spend most of their adult lives living in a burrow. The Grassland
crayfish, Procambarus gracilis, is a primary
burrower and may spend 95% of its life in a
burrow. The Devil crayfish, Cambarus diogenes, is also a primary burrower spending 80-90% of its life in the burrow though adults or young can occasionally be found in open waters.


Quote:
Secondary burrowers dig burrows to escape
drying waterbodies or freezing weather. The Calico crayfish, Orconectes immunis, is a secondary burrower.


Quote:
Tertiary burrowers are crayfish that dig a burrow as a last resort and, even then, it is
not an extensive or deep burrow. The Northern crayfish, Orconectes virilis, is a tertiary burrower which often digs a shallow burrow beneath a rock during winter or during drought




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Appreciate you guys sharing this.. It confirms the papershells I bought are not papershells, they are in fact Northern Crayfish.
I'll have to share this with the farm I bought them from, he swears they are papershells.

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http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=490004#Post490004

Some crayfish info in this thread from last year. While trying to ID the crays in my BOW, I learned one thing: ID is difficult.


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LMB, CC, SC, BG, HBC, two no account welfare carp and nine seasonal Tilapia that all the other fish are terrified of.

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They sure are hard to identify, took me a year or so to discover the 1200 native crays I put in the pond were Red Swamps. They are not really native to this area but were brought in for farming and then they became the dominant crayfish in this area of Texas. And some of them grew to be at least 6" in size. Today, they are few and far between in the pond.


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While using a small dip net in a puddle from the overflow of my RES/SMB pond I caught probably a couple dozen tiny crawdads. Quarter inch long. I presume they are Northern's, but would like an ID if possible. I knew the tiny ones would be hard/impossible to ID but I also dipped out a dead adult. I see two crawdad holes right near the overflow where the water ate away down to the holes. I am assuming the dead one (or one like it) likely produced the babies. So if I can get an ID on the adult, chances are the babies are the same.

The ones I caught I transferred into my RES/SMB pond that is choked with bushy pondweed. Hopefully they will "take" and help control the weeds as well as make some SMB food. With all the bushy pondweed hopefully the tiny ones can find plenty of places to hide and not all get eaten immediately. Lots of rock around the shore line also.

Edit: I will bring this back up from one of canyoncreek's posts. Crayfish Power Point Presentation

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Last edited by snrub; 03/29/20 10:42 PM.

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snrub,

I grew up in northern Oklahoma and this crayfish is very familiar to me. As a kid, I spent a lot of time fishing for them with pieces of bacon. It is 'orconectes nais' or the 'prairie nymph' crayfish.

If you can provide enough cover to sustain a population capable of controlling the bushy pond weed ... then they will convert it into free RES/SMB forage. You might try adding cover in annual steps until you find the right balance of crawfish and pond weed. Crayfish will slow down the accumulation of muck in your pond as well.

Last edited by jpsdad; 03/30/20 06:41 AM.

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Ok in this article they call it Water Nymph.

Water Nymph Crayfish

I did not find one that specifically was named prairie nymph. The Prairie Crayfish in Kansas has short stock pincers so it is not that one. The Water Nymph is said to be in the same area as the Northern Crayfish but less common.

Prarie Crayfish

That is cool. I didn't even know that species existed or was in my area.

Thanks!


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Can someone tell what kind and if these are good for a pond or not. I have creeeeeek that runs behind my pond and these are in it by the hundreds.

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Originally Posted by RStringer
Can someone tell what kind and if these are good for a pond or not. I have creeeeeek that runs behind my pond and these are in it by the hundreds.


Speaking from experience with these same question. To 100% identify Bill Cody will want better pics. Preferably with them on a white sheet of paper or in a jar of water and he will need to see their belly.


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These r really small right now. Will try I catch some alil bigger n the next few weeks. I thought they would be hard to ID being this small still.


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The screenshot is not displaying for me. Problem with the link?


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I'm not able to get any pics that are hosted by the forum to display. Probably temporary.


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The whole forum is having problems with them all. They are looking into it.


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https://i.imgur.com/4mzPFEa.jpg
Someone got an idea of what kind this is? Me in the kids played in the creek this weekend and she found this blue one.


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Dang, that looks like it would glow in the dark.


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It was defiantly different than others we caught.


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It is likely to be a genetic flaw that happens in Papershell and Norhtern Virile craws...very rare.


Fish on!,
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Heres what I'm finding all over my yard (all around the pond). I can walk around and find One about every minute. They are full of babies. Can someone I'd these for me? I dont see alot of the big chimneys around my place like some talk about on here. I do have some that I believe have tunneled under our pool causing the liner to have low spots (not huge deal). I'm not really concerned about them more curious than anything.

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The people who say I can't do it can just sit the @^#% down and watch me. Friends call me Rusto I also subscribe to pond boss mag. http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=504716#Post504716
snrub #525455 09/03/20 06:13 AM
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Wow that is cool!

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Originally Posted by RStringer
Heres what I'm finding all over my yard (all around the pond). I can walk around and find One about every minute. They are full of babies. Can someone I'd these for me? I dont see alot of the big chimneys around my place like some talk about on here. I do have some that I believe have tunneled under our pool causing the liner to have low spots (not huge deal). I'm not really concerned about them more curious than anything.

Best guess.

https://nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/grassland-crayfish-prairie-crayfish



snrub #525474 09/03/20 11:03 AM
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First part of this thread has great info on craw types. Nice work guys.
















snrub #525497 09/03/20 08:51 PM
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R
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Thank you for the replys - I will read back thru this thread.


The people who say I can't do it can just sit the @^#% down and watch me. Friends call me Rusto I also subscribe to pond boss mag. http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=504716#Post504716
snrub #525508 09/04/20 06:27 AM
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A crayfish that has nothing to do with water other than what rain flows down their burrow is pretty amazing.

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Rusto, I think the crayfish you are finding around the house just might be these ....

https://nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/grassland-crayfish-prairie-crayfish



jim100, the burrow always has water or the crayfish has to move. The prairie types tend to occupy areas with an underlying hardpan. The top soils have a lot of clay but are permeable enough to support a very slow flow. Because of this, a water table of sorts lies above the hardpan after being saturated. As the table slowly dissipates, they dig deeper to stay in water. They are as you said, amazing creatures.

Last edited by jpsdad; 09/04/20 07:41 AM.

It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so - Will Rogers


snrub #525523 09/04/20 11:58 AM
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So it sounds kinda like they wont stick around the pond. Well I went around and picked up prolly 20 of them full of babies and put them on the ponds edge. They all took off for the water. Maybe became lunch who knows.


The people who say I can't do it can just sit the @^#% down and watch me. Friends call me Rusto I also subscribe to pond boss mag. http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=504716#Post504716
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