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UK RIVERS SIGNAL CRAYFISH SCOURGE

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AGILIS View Drop Down
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    Posted: 25 Oct 2011 at 8:11am
Well these certainly are spread in epidemic proportions.
I was out the other day on the River lark snooping about rod in hand (fishing rod) & doing a bit of herping ,when a couple of blokes arrived with a drop net with meat as bait,and explained they caught around 200 in a few hours the other arvo. Well to my suprise they had around 20 within under 20 mins and reckon they are good eating if you like scampi or langoustines .
Well these invaders are killing of our native crays and I believe eating native fish eggs, and the river authorities want them completely removed from our river none to be returned no matter what size.
Then I find out you need a licence to do their job for them "what a joke".To tell them apart from native crays if any left these are redish in colour and of course have bright red under the claws hense signal cray fish, as to native darker blackish grey green with white claws.
But I have since found out you do not need to pay for the licence its free just apply to the dept of the enviroment, Well getting my net sorted out for some free bee cuisine river tucker Ps they can give you a good old nip not for the squeamish as quite aggressive little blighters LOL... I believe they become a bit dormant in cold weather below 7 or 8 degrees. keith




Edited by AGILIS - 25 Oct 2011 at 9:12am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote herpetologic2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Oct 2011 at 9:07am
The trapping of these critters would probably make the 'problem' even worse as it does nothing to the population.

In fact the larger adults are effective population controllers of the younger crayfish so taking them out may increase the population and cause more to disperse and spread.

The EA are loathed to give any trapping licenses around my way as

1. there are still white clawed crayfish around and 2. the spread of disease is more likely when people are encouraged to trap these animals. Oh and there is also the otters on the rivers round here which may get caught in the traps. 

They are tasty though and a great wild food. Using all the animals captured can be used to make a soup and the claws and tails are great with watercress in a sandwich 




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Caleb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Oct 2011 at 9:21am
Not only do you need a licence to trap them, you also need a licence to keep them alive after trapping (except in certain parts of the country that are already heavily infested)- otherwise you'd have to kill them immediately after you catch them.

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AGILIS View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AGILIS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Oct 2011 at 9:47am
I find this situation a complete nanny state disgrace here we have a pest in our rivers that the authorities want eliminated, then they have the bloody cheek to impose restrictions and probably get us to attend a induction course to obtain a licence for us to do them a favour in ridding this pest from our rivers,This is bureaucracy gone mad that this country seem to thrive on .I would love to be taken to court and have my say on not having a licence for doing their job for them.... god what next health and safety rules to wear helmets & gloves to use your drop net ,not exactly exstreme fishing is it but you could get nipped LOL keith

Edited by AGILIS - 25 Oct 2011 at 10:12am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Caleb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Oct 2011 at 11:17am
You don't have to have a licence to take them, just to use traps. You can jump in and grab as many as you like (if you've got the landowner's permission) without a licence.

The reason for licensing is (as Jon hinted at above) the potential for damaging native wildlife (especially water vole and otter) during trapping. No doubt the 'authorities' are also grateful for the free monitoring data they get from the license returns.

As Jon also pointed out, it's not helping 'ridding the pest' if large ones are taken, as they're quickly replaced by youngsters.
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AGILIS View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AGILIS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Oct 2011 at 12:20pm
Mind you larger fish like Chub Pike and Zander eat them including Trout

Edited by AGILIS - 25 Oct 2011 at 12:21pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MancD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Oct 2011 at 12:15pm

Article below about a chap who was prosecuted for trapping and eating several White Clawed Crayfish. Although this isn't the non-native Signal Crayfish, it does show that the media advising people that trapping and removing the non-native species is a good thing, as others have said it doesn't have any effect on the population and also runs the risk of spreading disease. In this case it also resulted in a prosecution and hefty fine for "accidentally" trapping the native species.

 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Oct 2011 at 2:14pm
I would imagine the point of the licence is to ensure the holder can differentiate between Singal and White-clawed. I believe it's quite difficult. Removing loads of crayfish sp is all well and good but not if they are the wrong and endangered species.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AGILIS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Oct 2011 at 3:46pm
I dont think you can mistake the signal crafish as to its colour on the claws and body + it grows bigger then our native ones all you do is check your catch as simple as that. I would not be setting traps only using attended drop nets so no probs. and I think some one with my long experience in field herpetology and being a life long angler give me the confidence to know what I am doing,without getting lectures from some academics straight from uni working for the environment agency or water authority that seem to be getting footholds in laying down regulations on what was once common sense ..
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Oct 2011 at 4:09pm
Fair enough however I must say I also have a very long history with most aspects of British Wildlife and have seen quite a few White-clawed and very many Signal. Large adults are as you say no problem but personally I can't tell the difference with the small ones. It's not something I've done for about 10 years now though but I'd be fairly sure that anywhere you now catch Signal it's a fairly safe bet that there are no White-clawed in the area anyway so it's probably academic. I totally agree with your last sentence.
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