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Old 10-05-2019, 07:34 PM
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Default Fall Crayfish

Just a note to say if anyone is interested in harvesting crayfish October is the month to gather them. In October they start gathering in deeper holes on creeks and rivers. Pre-rut if you may. They breed in November.
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Old 10-05-2019, 07:44 PM
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I had no idea.
Thanks for the heads up
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Old 10-05-2019, 10:07 PM
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Flush them with salty water. It makes them clean all that mud out of their system. The only ones I've had were from the gross old battle down by hardisty wainwright. Because of the laws we caught a bunch and boiled them right away and they were gross because of the "mud vein". Next time we put them in salty water that killed them slowly and made them clean out them selves. We were camped by myrNam that time. I don't think they would be any good killed as soon as they are caught then boiled. Maybe we did something wrong but I know you sure don't wanna get caught with live ones for what you get in return. It's a metallic, sloughy, taste. We did the butter and hot sauce dip and cooked em proper but still tasted like the river smeled.
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Old 10-05-2019, 10:13 PM
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If you were to try to target them in a minnow trap, what would you use for bait?
Meat?
I've caught them in minnow traps before, but I assume they were going for the minnows and not the catfood in the trap.
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Old 10-05-2019, 11:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pikeman06 View Post
Flush them with salty water. It makes them clean all that mud out of their system. The only ones I've had were from the gross old battle down by hardisty wainwright. Because of the laws we caught a bunch and boiled them right away and they were gross because of the "mud vein". Next time we put them in salty water that killed them slowly and made them clean out them selves. We were camped by myrNam that time. I don't think they would be any good killed as soon as they are caught then boiled. Maybe we did something wrong but I know you sure don't wanna get caught with live ones for what you get in return. It's a metallic, sloughy, taste. We did the butter and hot sauce dip and cooked em proper but still tasted like the river smeled.
Probably still taste a lot better than those fresh water mussels. Tried them a couple of times and you may as well eat mud.
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Old 10-06-2019, 08:38 AM
raw outdoors raw outdoors is offline
 
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Anything stinky will work. I like fish guts and heads as it takes a while for them to eat it away. I see guys use cat food like canned stuff. I will have to try the saltwater thing as the last time they where so muddy, I said I wouldn’t catch them again.
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Old 10-06-2019, 08:43 AM
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Ones I've had out of the NSR were great. Did the flush then removed the vein via the middle back fin. Boiled for a bit in salt water then butter dipped. Delicious!
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Old 10-06-2019, 10:28 AM
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This recipe I use for crayfish and shrimp.

6 cups water or enough water to cover 2 or 3 lbs. crayfish or shrimp. Adjust ingredients if using a lot more water for a bigger batch.

1/2 cup of celery tops or diced celery
3 or 4 tablespoons of mixed pickling spices
3 or 4 tablespoons white vinegar
3 or 4 tablespoons of salt
2 cups sliced onion, (optional)
2 to 4 bay leaves.

Add crayfish and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes or so. Excellent for shrimp too.
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Old 10-06-2019, 10:31 AM
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They are always a pain in the but fishing sturgeon in early September. Will clean worms off the hook in a matter of minutes
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Old 10-06-2019, 11:44 AM
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They are always a pain in the but fishing sturgeon in early September. Will clean worms off the hook in a matter of minutes
On the loss of worms to crayfish...
A person could try to put their worms in a mesh bag too. Like roe bags used for salmon and trout on the coast. I used to put fish roe in thin pantyhose material and tie the "bag"/material closed with dental floss. Holds good on a hook and can even be tied onto large hooks with dental floss. Put up to six dew worms in a bag like this and crayfish would have a hard time taking them. Could snip a couple little slits in the bag to release the worm scent more. Or maybe a mesh onion bag type material but not really as enviro friendly if you break off.
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Old 10-06-2019, 12:13 PM
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Frozen minnows in a steel minnow trap. There are collapsible brown mesh ones too thst worked well. Half a dozen or more minnows or like buddy said a fresh fish head and your trap will be full.
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:52 PM
dsbooyah dsbooyah is offline
 
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I have been trapping crayfish for the last few months and found that cheap dry dog kibble in a pantyhose tied with elastic band works wonders. The bait last all day and brings all the crayfish to the yard.

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Old 10-07-2019, 01:14 PM
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remember the regs, no bait in traps unless there is a hook attached to it
"it is illegal to set out or use bait to attract fish unless the bait is attached to a hook used in angling."
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Old 10-07-2019, 02:06 PM
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Apply to invasive species like crayfish?
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Old 10-07-2019, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WayneChristie View Post
remember the regs, no bait in traps unless there is a hook attached to it
"it is illegal to set out or use bait to attract fish unless the bait is attached to a hook used in angling."
Say what? You cannot put bait in a trap to catch minnows?
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Old 10-07-2019, 03:04 PM
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Purging them is a must unless you like that mud flavour. Everyone does it, even the big crawfish compaines in the south.

https://www.wikihow.com/Purge-Crawfish

Might have to pick up a few traps and have a feast. Mudbugs are delicious. And don't forget to suck the head!!!!
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Old 10-07-2019, 03:31 PM
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I says pardon?
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Old 10-07-2019, 06:56 PM
pikeman06 pikeman06 is offline
 
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No bait in a minnow trap Wayne? Come on, it's set for crayfish with dead legal bait fish....it's more of a trapping thing than an angling thing by definition plus the no live transport rule plus the invasive species card thrown in there. But you may very well be right. You need a sport fish license to trap minnows and crayfish so maybe I had it wrong. Thanks for the heads up. I really didn't care for them but some guys on here might wanna look into it a little closer.
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Old 10-16-2019, 11:20 PM
Oldan Grumpi Oldan Grumpi is offline
 
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We used to catch a lot of big river clams in the Chinchaga when I was a kid. The trick was to put them in about 6” of water in a washtub overnight, with a couple of cups of oatmeal. By morning the bottom of the tub was covered in sand and clam poop, but the clams were cleaned out and tasted great.
I wonder if that trick would work with mud bugs?
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Old 10-17-2019, 12:00 PM
Jayhad Jayhad is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mapleleafman3 View Post
Purging them is a must unless you like that mud flavour. Everyone does it, even the big crawfish compaines in the south.

https://www.wikihow.com/Purge-Crawfish

Might have to pick up a few traps and have a feast. Mudbugs are delicious. And don't forget to suck the head!!!!
Problem with flushing is you are prohibited to be in possession of live crayfish in Alberta. According to the guys with the badges the second they are out of water they are to be killed

I've been studying this a bit myself for the last few months and I haven't had a successful scenario to test non-flushed vs flushed.

There is one study from LSU about flushing, here is a tidbit;

In conclusion, preparing crawfish for cooking by immersion in a water bath, with or without salt, for a short time will often provide some degree of cleansing, although this is mainly associated with exterior surfaces and the gill cavity where debris can accumulate. The amount of digesta in cooked crawfish subjected to an adequate wash may not be discernible from nonwashed crawfish; however, washing will lessen the amount of debris shed during the cooking process. There is no evidence from this study that suggests the use of salt in cleansing crawfish was beneficial, but results do indicate that a saltwater bath may contribute to increased mortality, if washed crawfish are subjected to refrigerated storage for several days prior to cooking. Conventional commercialstyle purging for 12 hours or longer is the only known way to significantly reduce the size of the hindgut in cooked crawfish, and that method is usually not practical for consumers.

Once again if you are going to flush you expose yourself to prosecution.

Last edited by Jayhad; 10-17-2019 at 12:12 PM.
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  #21  
Old 10-17-2019, 12:16 PM
karolko karolko is offline
 
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Anyone have any photos of the crayfish you've been catching in Alberta? I use to catch them in Poland all the time, but never knew they were in Alberta, nevertheless Canada!

Thanks in advance

Adrian
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Old 10-18-2019, 08:53 AM
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Remember to twist the middle fin on the tail & pull

takes out the poop shoot
Orv

Last edited by ORV; 10-18-2019 at 09:18 AM.
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Old 10-18-2019, 09:52 AM
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Before you boil it, I assume?
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Old 10-18-2019, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
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Before you boil it, I assume?
Yes for sure.
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Old 10-18-2019, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karolko View Post
Anyone have any photos of the crayfish you've been catching in Alberta? I use to catch them in Poland all the time, but never knew they were in Alberta, nevertheless Canada!

Thanks in advance

Adrian
My boy got a few this summer he ate them all before I could try one
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  #26  
Old 10-20-2019, 12:27 PM
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Where can I find crayfish near Calgary? I would like to try some.
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Old 10-20-2019, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by klow View Post
Where can I find crayfish near Calgary? I would like to try some.
I know people have caught crayfish in Nose creek in Airdrie a few years ago so crayfish are in the Bow river system. most likely in all tributaries. When the crayfish move into the tributaries that feed the rivers I would think that they have migrated up and made it to any head water ponds or lakes that feed the creeks too. They would congregate around beaver dams certain times of the year when they are migrating or moving upstream.
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Old 10-20-2019, 01:42 PM
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Interesting note on the northern crayfish, Orconectes virilis, in Alberta. I spoke with the lady in charge of the invasive species monitoring program last year and because these crayfish are known to be in the Beaver river system in Alberta they are considered a native species and not on the Alberta invasive species list. The Rusty crayfish, if it makes it here will be an invasive species.

Here's a good web page with crayfish info. It just isn't complete on the range. Map doesn't show them too far into Alberta but the crayfish are.
http://www.naturenorth.com/fall/crayfish/Fcray2.html
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Last edited by Red Bullets; 10-20-2019 at 01:51 PM.
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Old 10-21-2019, 10:56 PM
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Awesome info guys!!
I can’t wait to go out and catch a bucket of these!!
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Old 10-22-2019, 12:59 AM
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https://wexitalberta.com/
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