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Crayfish


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Hi All

We have a small stream running through our property and at dusk I've seen a number of crayfish in a small pool formed by a little waterfall. How can you tell the difference between the european and the introduced signal?  I've searched the web but can't find  a comparison.  I also found a couple of dead ones, eaten just the tail and shell left, any idea what might feed on them? 

Panda

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We have them in our lakes and ours are brown too, Panda, though I didn't notice much red - will have a closer look next time someone catches one!  There isn't a problem with them is there?  We were told that they were a sign that the water was healthy.
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The problem with them, Debra, is that not only are they yet another introduced species from "over there", but they are also a pain and eat almost everything that moves, fish included. They have a detrimental effect on the native white clawed species which is in severe decline. On top of all that they breed like wildfire.

All in all not good news.

Chris

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http://www.crayfishworld.com/pictureindex.htm

I found quite a lot of sites showing different types (google crayfish europe) - one of which I've pasted above.  Chris - hubby just came in and said ours are not the Signal red ones - they grow to 30cm and ours are only small, about 7 cm and he looked them up when we first got the lakes and he saw them and they're some European brown variety - but ok, anyway! 

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[quote user="Pierre ZFP"]A fisher friend of mine said that big carp feed on them.  So much so that he was complaining that the big ones had eaten so much they were full up and wouldn't touch his bait - sounds like a fishermans tale to me[/quote]Nope -tis true, apparently - they eat them when they are soft (just shed their skin).  They are good as bait....
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[quote user="Bing Creuse Bear"]Can you catch them ( the foreigners) or are they a protected species? I've heard they make great eating. I'm sure I read somewhere that the UK River Conservation people even sold traps in the UK. Anyone know?[/quote]you catch them while fishing by accident! There is no doubt an easier way though.
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[quote user="chris pp"]

Just try not to kill this one: Ecrevisse à pattes blanches (Austropotamobius pallipes).

[/quote]Just did a search on 'Ecrevisse à pattes blanches' to try and figure out why you mention that one in particular and all I came up with was some sites saying its not usually eaten - and then a lot of French recipes for it!
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My French is not brilliant normally but right now my brain is not so sharp, being decimated by pregnancy, then sleepless nights, dehydration because of breastfeeding..... - can't you give me a clue or a site in English?!
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Basically they are a species that has been listed under Natura2000 in France as a species that requires special attention and protection, therefore there are schemes in place with funding available for sensitive management in selected zones.

The species is in decline across all its natural range and those other crayfish from the USA are not helping one little bit.

Hope you start to feel better soon, Chris

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Hi Debra

This is the threatened whote claw variety, ours are much daker and have bits of red, some look black in the water.  I found another half eaten one and fear that I've caused the problem as I've recently tidied up the area, they were probably harder to catch before I removed a lot of brambles.  I'm going to put some cover back over the stream.

I have also read that crayfish will only survive in un polluted water so you were right to say it shows your lake water is in good shape.

Panda

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[quote user="Debra"][quote user="Pierre ZFP"]A fisher friend of mine said that big carp feed on them.  So much so that he was complaining that the big ones had eaten so much they were full up and wouldn't touch his bait - sounds like a fishermans tale to me[/quote]Nope -tis true, apparently - they eat them when they are soft (just shed their skin).  They are good as bait....[/quote]

It wasn't the fact that carp eat them that I was questioning - just the reason why he couldn't catch anything, it was an excuse I hadn't heard before [;-)]

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[quote user="Pierre ZFP"]

[quote user="Debra"][quote user="Pierre ZFP"]A fisher friend of mine said that big carp feed on them.  So much so that he was complaining that the big ones had eaten so much they were full up and wouldn't touch his bait - sounds like a fishermans tale to me[/quote]Nope -tis true, apparently - they eat them when they are soft (just shed their skin).  They are good as bait....[/quote]

It wasn't the fact that carp eat them that I was questioning - just the reason why he couldn't catch anything, it was an excuse I hadn't heard before [;-)]

[/quote]I'm pretty sure hubby mentioned that too, when we first realised we had them.  Also, they are a pain because they eat the bait the fisherman puts down to attract the carp.
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