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Crawfish as weed control
#516754 02/12/20 10:29 PM
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I realize grass carp is the most popular biological weed control, but what about crawfish? Are they particularly good on specific types of weeds? If so, what stocking rates might be recommended?

One advantage of craws: They make good bass forage!


8ac, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17. 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19, 10k TFS 3/20, 100#TP 5/20, 25 HSB & 250 F1 9/20, 190




Re: Crawfish as weed control
anthropic #516758 02/13/20 06:03 AM
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I credit the dramatic reduction in curly leaf pondweed in my SMB/YP pond to adding papershell crayfish. I only added 100 to a 1-acre pond, but I am patient. I believe my success was in building a substantial jetty from rip rap first to act as cover (fully submerged at full pool). I originally had thick curly leaf pondweed cover, so I suspect that helped with building the population. Note that I already had burrowing crayfish in the pond. Now this was hardly a controlled experiment, but I thought I would share my experience. I had lilly pads already established and they still seem fine.

Last edited by RAH; 02/13/20 06:04 AM.
Re: Crawfish as weed control
RAH #516760 02/13/20 07:08 AM
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Thanks for that testimony. I may wait and see how my new grass carp perform this spring but if they don't cut the mustard I may have to source some crayfish.

I would REALLY like to have crayfish anyway in my RES/SMB pond where the pondweed is a problem because they are supposed to be an excellent SMB food source.

I already have significant rock cover established.

Last edited by snrub; 02/13/20 07:10 AM.

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Re: Crawfish as weed control
anthropic #516766 02/13/20 08:44 AM
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I am hoping my crayfish can do the same thing. I have a good bit of rock and add more every year. I also have a very large batch of chara. If the crayfish could knock that back I think winter would get easier for me.


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Re: Crawfish as weed control
anthropic #516768 02/13/20 09:25 AM
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My young pond (going on it's 4th year with craws & FHM's, 3rd year with HSB, HBG, & RES) has little to no vegetation in it. The craws seem to eat most all marginals and submerged plants I have tried or that has come in on it's own. To date, the only plants that seem to survive the summer AND return the following the year are Pickerel Weed and Arrowhead,

I have tried Thalia Dealbata the last two summers. The first years's attempt did well, but did not return the following spring. We will see what happens this coming spring. I have high hopes as last years plants prospered very well and established a much better root system than the previous attempt. I put Botswana in last year and it did not succumb to the craws, but It will not survive the winter, Same with Water Hyacinths. Kidneyleaf Mud Plantain went in last year too, but the jury is still out as the craws did seem to like digging them up a little bit.

Other plants that I have tried with no success are.

CARDINAL FLOWER (Lobelia cardinalis)
Blue Flag Iris on Sale! (Iris versicolor)
SWEETFLAG, DWARF Variegated
RUSH, ZEBRA (Scirpus tabernae-montani ‘Zebrinus’) GOLDEN CLUB (Orontium aquaticum)

The lack of success may not be because of the craws, but here they are at any rate.

I also saw Chara in the pond early on, but there has not been any since the introduction of the craws. Cattails too, but they don't get established because of me.

American pond weed must be a favorite for the craws as I transplanted 40 to 50 sprigs of it last year and the craws uprooted them all overnight. I have some of them in hanging baskets off the dock now and that seems to keep the craws from getting to them.

I have too many northern virile craws in my little pond. I would like some more plant life and less muddy waters Over the course of two summers I stocked about 300 juveniles with the second summer being when I stocked my game fish. This allowed many of the craws to outgrow the mouth gape of my HSB and reach adulthood. This is the main reason I have too many of the large craws. I don't see many juveniles which makes me believe they are feeding my HBG and I wonder how good the 2-3 pound HSB are at feeding on the adult craws. I'd bet a LMB population would put them on the endangered list, but I'm sticking with my HSB.



Fish on!,
Noel
Re: Crawfish as weed control
anthropic #516769 02/13/20 09:28 AM
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The first year of my pond I purchased 1300 bucks of desired plants. I also added around 400 per acre of baby crawfish in the 1/2 to 1/4" size. The crawfish ate all of the plants and so I would suggest not to stock that many crawfish when trying to get plants established. My thoughts at that time was to establish a crawfish population that would feed my RES and LMB. Later that year I found 5" or larger crawfish in the pond.


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Tracy
Re: Crawfish as weed control
Quarter Acre #516776 02/13/20 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted By: Quarter Acre


I have too many northern virile craws in my little pond. I would like some more plant life and less muddy waters Over the course of two summers I stocked about 300 juveniles with the second summer being when I stocked my game fish. This allowed many of the craws to outgrow the mouth gape of my HSB and reach adulthood. This is the main reason I have too many of the large craws. I don't see many juveniles which makes me believe they are feeding my HBG and I wonder how good the 2-3 pound HSB are at feeding on the adult craws. I'd bet a LMB population would put them on the endangered list, but I'm sticking with my HSB.



Wonder what introducing a single LMB would do?


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Re: Crawfish as weed control
anthropic #516778 02/13/20 12:08 PM
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I have never stocked "plant eaters" until my plants were very well established.

Re: Crawfish as weed control
snrub #516790 02/13/20 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted By: snrub
Originally Posted By: Quarter Acre


I have too many northern virile craws in my little pond. I would like some more plant life and less muddy waters Over the course of two summers I stocked about 300 juveniles with the second summer being when I stocked my game fish. This allowed many of the craws to outgrow the mouth gape of my HSB and reach adulthood. This is the main reason I have too many of the large craws. I don't see many juveniles which makes me believe they are feeding my HBG and I wonder how good the 2-3 pound HSB are at feeding on the adult craws. I'd bet a LMB population would put them on the endangered list, but I'm sticking with my HSB.



Wonder what introducing a single LMB would do?


I think it would help a bunch. Stock a young female and could probably grow a trophy.

Just a hunch but it may be better for crawfish control to use a catfish that is more oriented to hunting at night when the crawfish are most active. I think a CC might be a good choice as it may preferentially target the crawfish over small fish.

A good baited trap could also help. Either eat them or feed them back to the HSB when they are actively feeding during feeding times. Were it me, I think I would eat them (IT'S CRAWFISH SEASON!!!) and I would make an effort to feed the heads to the HSB during feeding times. Between 75-80 percent of the weight of the Crawfish is in the heads.

Last edited by jpsdad; 02/13/20 07:30 PM.
Re: Crawfish as weed control
snrub #516793 02/13/20 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted By: snrub
Wonder what introducing a single LMB would do?


I put a single LMB in last year... I'm ashamed to say I don't know if it was a male or female, but it's in there just the same.

AND, I trapped some last summer and they're now wondering around Augie's farm. I think they will start to diminish on there own this year as the HSB get more hungry and "Bass Solo" does what it does.

I may eat some of the devils this year too!


Fish on!,
Noel
Re: Crawfish as weed control
anthropic #516794 02/13/20 07:55 PM
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Quarteracre - As mentioned by 'jpsdad' add one CC that is big enough (maybe 15"-17") to right away start eating your adult crayfish. Then monitor cray numbers to see if it helps over the next few years. I would not add more than one CC into my perch pond because I don't want any CC reproduction. From experience CC do eat a significant number of YP. Then if you decide to remove the CC fish with crayfish as bait.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 02/13/20 07:56 PM.

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Re: Crawfish as weed control
anthropic #516806 02/14/20 07:35 AM
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Bass feed at night also. Some of my very best lmb fishing were night fishing trips. Not only can they feel the movement but can also distinguish colors. They are aggressive predator's at night. A lot of my lifetime largest were caught at night. Go ahead and ask me how I know they can see colors at night. smile

Last edited by TGW1; 02/14/20 07:57 AM.

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Re: Crawfish as weed control
TGW1 #516810 02/14/20 08:17 AM
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And CC feed during the day too

Re: Crawfish as weed control
anthropic #516813 02/14/20 08:29 AM
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I certainly did not mean to make this thread about my pond. I just enjoyed adding my experiences or should I say add my problems from inexperience. Either way, I do enjoy my crawdads and do plan to add a CC this year. I almost did last year, but I wanted to hold out for an albino, but I doubt that falls in my lap. Iv'e got so many crawdads that the rocks along the dam have been flipped over on a regular occasion all winter long...raccoons and such, I suspect.

Anybody want to trade a 15" albino CC for a bucket of crawdads later this spring?

There I go, again, getting off topic!

I have not found that balance between craw populations, muddy waters, and vegetation, but I'll close in on it...hopefully, and without going to the other side of that balance. I may dance with crawdads the rest of my life. I don't think I could have started the opposite way as transplanting the juveniles from the creek at this point would have just been feeding the fish, so I am not regretful about the approach.


Fish on!,
Noel
Re: Crawfish as weed control
anthropic #516816 02/14/20 10:01 AM
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I believe I have or at least had an albino last year. I told my neighbors last year that they could take whatever cats they could catch. I would be more than happy to let you have it if it's still in there. I have plenty of craws already. I put them in 10 years ago or so. Your profile says west central MO. So you shouldn't be to far from me. I'm an hour from Joplin. We also go to branson several times a year (family there).


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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