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How to Catch Crayfish

Updated on September 19, 2012

Want to catch fresh water crayfish? Here's how to do it.

In this article,I will be explaining how you can catch freshwater crayfish. This is a wonderful activity that you can enjoy with your children on a hot summer day.

The easiest place for you to find crayfish is in a shallow creek. One that has a lot of rocks is ideal,because they love to hide underneath them. You will want to make sure you take a container of some sort along with you. You want to have something that is easy to handle,so that you can scoop up the crayfish. A disposable plastic cup is perfect for this,but other household items could work just as well. No sharp edges on whatever you use! You don't want to harm the little critters. Some people,I have heard,use them as bait. But,that is for another article. You will probably want to dress yourself and your children in old clothing. Catching crayfish requires getting a bit wet,and muddy.

If this is your first time catching crayfish,you may want to explain to your children what you will be doing. Show them some pictures online so they know what they look like,and also to make sure that they aren't going to be afraid of them.

Once you are at your chosen location,find a spot where the water is shallow,and not running very quickly. Make sure you remember to bring your container with you. Step into the water with your children,and have them help you look for rocks that look they have some space underneath them. It doesn't need to be a large amount of space,because crayfish are not that big,and can squeeze into small areas. When you find some of these rocks,you want to have one person behind the rock,and another person in front of where you are going to lift it. This is because once you lift the rock,the crayfish may try to scurry away before you even see it!

You should lift the rock very gently. You don't want to stir up too much mud,because this will make the water cloudy,to where you wont be able to see anything. Do not pick the rock straight up out of the water,even it is small enough to do so. This will give the crayfish more options of where it can go to escape. You want to lift one edge of the rock only,and pull it back towards you.If you do this,and the crayfish does decide to move away,it will likely go towards the person in front of the rock. The person in front of the rock should be ready with their container.

Look very closely in the area of where you lifted the rock. Crayfish blend in very well,and can be tricky to spot. If you see one,slowly put your container into the water. Let the force of the water going into the container help pull the crayfish inside. This would be the easiest way to catch it,because it wont have any idea that it is being sucked into a cup. If this is not working out for you,go ahead and try to scoop the crayfish in. If your lucky,you will have caught your very first crayfish. Congratulations!

At this point,let your children get a good look at what they just caught. Crayfish are sort of strange looking,and will be quite interesting to them. Have them count the little legs and antennae on it. If you brought more than one container with you,you can start a contest to see who can catch the biggest crayfish. When you're all done for the day,compare each one and see if your children can spot the differences in each of them.

After all the fun and games,please remember to let your little crayfish buddies back into the water. Your children may wish to keep them,but tell them how much happier they will be if they are put back in their home. Take pictures,and see if you can find your old crayfish friends on your next search!


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    • profile image

      Anna 4 years ago

      It is against the law in many places in the united states and uk, to put them back in the water due to their severe over population and non nativeness to some areas

    • profile image

      david 5 years ago

      Ive always heard crawdads

    • profile image

      drew 7 years ago

      good thinking thanks

    • profile image

      Alex 7 years ago

      Omg what time o the year was this and what country ? there are so much of them in that vid u just posted.

    • lisaluv9784 profile image

      Lisa 7 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I've heard them referred to as crawfish before.I think either one is probably correct.It seems there are a lot of different names for them.When I was little I just called them crabs.

    • nancy_30 profile image

      nancy_30 7 years ago from Georgia

      I learned something today. I've always called these crawl fish not knowing their real name. I've always lived near a creek and have caught many of them. Great hub.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 7 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Are you kidding? My wife loves these little critters. Actually, the ones she eats are pretty big, almost like small lobsters. They are fun for kids to catch, though! Good pastime for kids.