Author Topic: Signal Crayfish - where to find them?  (Read 19771 times)

Tiger

Signal Crayfish - where to find them?
« on: August 19, 2008, 05:05:27 pm »
More practical is Signal Crayfish, as scoffed by Hugh Fearlessly Eats it All.  Lurking in a stream/brook/river near you. Kill by freezing, cook by boiling or barbecuing.

To catch them properly you need an Environment Agency licence.

We had a barbecue at the Scout group I help run a few weeks ago. One of the boys had promised to bring some, but failed to do so. He dashed off to the stream in the playing field, turning over rocks, and ten minutes later returned with four good sized crayfish.   
These sound really interesting - anyone know is they are in rivers near London and if they are easy to catch in enough quantity to do a decent barby? How best to catch them?

Regulator

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Re: Signal Crayfish - where to find them?
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2008, 05:10:09 pm »
They are in the Thames - further up from London. 

Information about trapping, etc. can be found here.

You can easily get enough for a barbie or two.  And they're relatively easy to catch, as they're a bit thick...
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Pete

Re: Signal Crayfish - where to find them?
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2008, 06:42:27 pm »
Well!  The American Signal Crayfish I had certainly never heard of - until I saw this post and then did a bit of Googling...

It looks very much like a prima facie instance of the point I was trying to make here.

Pingu

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Re: Signal Crayfish - where to find them?
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2008, 06:47:45 pm »
Loch Ken, apparently.

Re: Signal Crayfish - where to find them?
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2008, 04:38:35 pm »
Basingstoke Canal is full of them

Re: Signal Crayfish - where to find them?
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2008, 05:45:48 pm »
Whilst it is probably a good thing to attempt to remove invasive species from British waters (especially those carrying disease such as Signal crayfish), I'm less convinced about the method of killing crayfish and lobsters (and crabs for that matter).   :-\

Tiger

Re: Signal Crayfish - where to find them?
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2008, 05:54:32 pm »
The freezer is the way to kill any crab-like things. They just go to sleep as their system is designed to close down metabolic activity in the cold.
In contrast if you try bringing a crab up to boiling temperature in a saucepan it becomes extremely agitated and will try to jump out. It is quite impossible to eat a crab after it has been trying to leap out of the saucepan - the guilt is just too much.

Other so called humane killing methods for crabs like sticking a knife into its head are also rather distressing as mostly one misses anything terminal and repeated stabbing - like the boiling alive - leads to feelings of disgust and remorse.

Woofage

  • Ain't no hooves on my bike.
Re: Signal Crayfish - where to find them?
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2008, 06:33:52 pm »
The River Lark is full of them. Very easy to catch but scary little bu66ers.
Pen Pusher

Re: Signal Crayfish - where to find them?
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2008, 09:52:54 am »
I agree that freezing will slow themetabolic rate, but it won't necessarily kill them.  If you put a large crayfish or lobster in the freezer for an hour then take it out it will start moving again after 10-15 minutes.

I think the reason for not stabbing it in the head is actually that if you then boil it, the water will get inside the carapace and it will go watery inside.  For crabs it is *very* easy to sever the brain with a point of strong sharp scissors.  Lobsters and crayfish are slightly more difficult.  We would ice lobsters for 90 minutes to 2 hours before making any cuts.

Whilst boiling appears to be the most cruel, my boss tells me that if the water is already boiling and you only do one animal at a time the drop in temperature from adding the crab/lobster/crayfish is sufficiently low to result in death in a few seconds.  Again, he would pre-ice it first.

sas

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Re: Signal Crayfish - where to find them?
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2008, 11:34:49 am »
Is an Environment Agency license required for everyone wanting to catch crayfish, or only if you're going to set traps?
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Woofage

  • Ain't no hooves on my bike.
Re: Signal Crayfish - where to find them?
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2008, 12:27:22 pm »
Is an Environment Agency license required for everyone wanting to catch crayfish, or only if you're going to set traps?

My understanding is you need one only for setting traps, but don't quote me on this ;).
Pen Pusher

tiermat

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Re: Signal Crayfish - where to find them?
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2008, 12:47:48 pm »
The link that Regulator gave earlier gives some pointers, but it only talks about trapping them, not netting, so MAYBE a license is not needed in such cases, however I would recommend reading the PDF that is linked off that page before considering netting some shrimp for the barby...
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Re: Signal Crayfish - where to find them?
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2008, 01:14:51 pm »
The River Lark is full of them. Very easy to catch but scary little bu66ers.

[OT] - that's where I got married!!

onb

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Re: Signal Crayfish - where to find them?
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2008, 03:21:14 pm »
The River Lark is full of them. Very easy to catch but scary little bu66ers.

[OT] - that's where I got married!!


Did you wear a wet suit or just your cossie ???
.

Re: Signal Crayfish - where to find them?
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2008, 03:23:36 pm »
The River Lark is full of them. Very easy to catch but scary little bu66ers.


[OT] - that's where I got married!!


Did you wear a wet suit or just your cossie ???

just trunks mate, was a lovely day.

(see the little church, just north of the arrow? That's where I meant)

Woofage

  • Ain't no hooves on my bike.
Re: Signal Crayfish - where to find them?
« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2008, 05:21:21 pm »
We've just got back from the Lark with a bucket full :).

They're in clean water now ready to go in the freezer later.
Pen Pusher

andygates

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Re: Signal Crayfish - where to find them?
« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2008, 10:28:03 am »
Oh, nom!  Pics!
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Tiger

Re: Signal Crayfish - where to find them?
« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2008, 10:45:51 am »
We've just got back from the Lark with a bucket full :).

They're in clean water now ready to go in the freezer later.

Is a bucket ful a lot - in food terms? How did you get them? Do you need any tools? I reckon this is an absolute must for the weekend - some natural free range food just waiting to be caught.


Woofage

  • Ain't no hooves on my bike.
Re: Signal Crayfish - where to find them?
« Reply #18 on: August 22, 2008, 10:59:49 am »
We've just got back from the Lark with a bucket full :).

They're in clean water now ready to go in the freezer later.

Is a bucket ful a lot - in food terms? How did you get them? Do you need any tools? I reckon this is an absolute must for the weekend - some natural free range food just waiting to be caught.


Well, the bucket was about half to 2/3 full of crayfish in reality. I didn't actually count them but I'd say we have 2 to 3 dozen that were caught in about an hour and a half.

We used drop nets (similar to this one) baited with bacon. Crab lines won't work because, unlike crabs, they let go as they leave the water.
Pen Pusher

Tim Hall

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Re: Signal Crayfish - where to find them?
« Reply #19 on: August 22, 2008, 12:44:27 pm »

Illegal crayfish trap, mk1.

Get big coke bottle.

Pour contents down throat/drain as appropriate.

Cut bottle at shoulder.

Cut a bit of the top of, to enlarge the opening a bit.

Invert the bit you cut off and stick it in the bottle. Gaffa tape needed.  You have an inverted funnel stuck in the top of the bottle.

Stab a few holes in the bottle tolet water in to prevent flotation.

Bung a bit of bacon in as bait.

Tie line round bottle.

Hurl in stream.

Check regularly, it well may catch other species.

IANAL, nor a Water Bailiff. The management accept no responsibility ect ect.  May contain nuts. Contents may eat each other during transport.
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Re: Signal Crayfish - where to find them?
« Reply #20 on: August 23, 2008, 06:12:14 pm »

Re: Signal Crayfish - where to find them?
« Reply #21 on: August 23, 2008, 06:19:48 pm »
There is a chap who catches signal crayfish in Iffley Lock and sells them at East Oxford Farmers Market, se they are definitely in the Thames. Personally, I throw them one at a time into a big pan of very fast boiling well salted water - they seem to die immediately.

Re: Signal Crayfish - where to find them?
« Reply #22 on: August 29, 2008, 01:02:25 pm »
I've caught many in the Serpentine but have only cooked one.  I suffered the guilt/revulsion syndrome and threw it in the bin, I'm afraid.

I understood that there was a chap who ran a cafe on the Egdware Road who used to catch them and serve them up to customers.

I've seen loads in the New River up at Broxbourne as well.

Tiger

Re: Signal Crayfish - where to find them?
« Reply #23 on: August 29, 2008, 02:03:38 pm »
I've caught many in the Serpentine but have only cooked one.  I suffered the guilt/revulsion syndrome and threw it in the bin, I'm afraid.

I understood that there was a chap who ran a cafe on the Egdware Road who used to catch them and serve them up to customers.

I've seen loads in the New River up at Broxbourne as well.

Is it legal to fish them in the Serpentine? Or would park plod give me trouble. It woudl be brill to hie a pedalo and drop a trawl over the back!

Zoidburg

Re: Signal Crayfish - where to find them?
« Reply #24 on: September 09, 2008, 06:15:56 pm »
Living in the Bridgewater canal in stoke as well

Which AFAIK you only need a Severn Trent Fishing permit to fish for them, I saw two lads pull one out of the water on a line as I rode past the other day

I also saw a very large and freshly dead pike belly up on the surface, I think the crayfish may have ganged up on it