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Discussion Starter #1
Normally I have this time of year reserved exclusively for flyfishing. With our favorite rivers/streams shut down because of the drought, we decided to head out for some crayfish trapping fun. I have been wanting to make an underwater crayfish trapping video for a few years, but it always got put on the back burner. This year with the closures and crayfish season in full swing, it was a no brainer.

Maybe this will inspire some of you to get out and get in on this over-looked fishery. Great fun for all ages. Very tastey too. Garlic butter, a little bit of horseradish and you're in flavour country :)

 

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Discussion Starter #3
Haha honored to share! I haven't tried them Cajun style--just garlic butter and sometimes a little horseradish--but that recipe you sent and the massive piles of crayfish look amazing!!
 

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Thanks for sharing. I've always wondered about crayfishing. Never hear of it in BC. Where do you typically find crayfish? Anyone know if there's any in the columbia river or shuswap drainages?
 

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Thanks for sharing. I've always wondered about crayfishing. Never hear of it in BC. Where do you typically find crayfish? Anyone know if there's any in the columbia river or shuswap drainages?
Seen people easily catch their limit in the vedder canal, using BUTTERFLY NETS. Go to the right side of the river (if you were looking upriver it would be on your right) at the canal and just flip logs there and it should be easy to catch them, i was flyfishing for trout a couple weeks back since the water was too low for springs to push up and i looked down, and saw a crayfish next to my foot so i caught the little guy with my hands and took a quick pic then released him
 

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That is a nice looking crayfish Salmonfisher. Good advice about the Vedder Canal too. I have heard other reports of the canal being loaded with crayfish but have yet to try for them. A butterfly net and lifting up rocks/logs sounds like a great way to go. Net close behind the tail and spook em from the front... as soon as they flick the tail to swim back I lift the net. If I'm right over top of them, I'll just go straight down with my hand .

For spotting exposed crayfish at any sort of distance/depth, I look for the white marks between their pinchers. I believe that's why this species is called "signal crayfish" as they walk with those pincers out... virtually waving a white flag lol ... does not work too well for them.

Worth noting too, that crayfishing is exempt from bait bans and C&R only restrictions. I have a letter from the ministry clarifying that and will dig it up later to post. Good to keep in the glovebox or on your person for anyone who wants to bait traps in a baitban or C&R only place.
 

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Thanks for sharing. I've always wondered about crayfishing. Never hear of it in BC. Where do you typically find crayfish? Anyone know if there's any in the columbia river or shuswap drainages?
There are tons of CF in Region 1 & 2. In Region 2, anything a short crow fly from the Fraser should have them. Elsewhere in BC, they come few and far between. I think it's worth looking into the Shushwap drainages. For anyone around the Thompson, I have a hunch there should be some around there. I'd love to hear reports of Region 3 and Region 5 crayfish. Not sure of the regs/quotas for those places though. I *think* Region 3 has a quota but there's no mention for Region 5 for example. I tried a few lakes in the South Cariboo as a little science experiment but didn't find any.

Salmon River southwest of Shuswap has them according to http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/Library/226355.pdf. Rumor has it Kootenay Lake and Columbia River do too.
 

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A curious situation here, it would seem. The definitions of "fish" and "sportfishing" in the regs include crustaceans. Although it looks like a lake, you mentioned that you weren't allowed to flyfish, would these Happen to be from a closed stream?

Just a thought. Mostly to help others from potentially making a mistake, as it is "advertised" as an alternative to "fishing" in this thread.

cheers,
bron
 

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A curious situation here, it would seem. The definitions of "fish" and "sportfishing" in the regs include crustaceans. Although it looks like a lake, you mentioned that you weren't allowed to flyfish, would these Happen to be from a closed stream?

Just a thought. Mostly to help others from potentially making a mistake, as it is "advertised" as an alternative to "fishing" in this thread.

cheers,
bron
It was a lake that was open to fishing. We did troll our flies on the way to and from the traps. Seen some trout jumping for damsel flies but no takers for us!! I did mention that our "favorite rivers/streams" for flyfishing are closed though.

I would not suggest crayfishing in any closed streams right now without some sort of authoritative confirmation in writing. It is unlikely that it would be allowed. I do have confirmation that baiting/trapping crayfish is allowed in waters where bait bans / and C&R restrictions are in effect. Hope this helps!!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
FYI (worth printing and keeping on your person if trapping crayfish in a non-tidal body of water with a bait ban)

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Thank you for your email dated June 10, 2011, regarding crayfish fishing regulations in British Columbia. Your inquiry has been forwarded to me for response.

Bait restrictions on non-tidal waters of British Columbia do not apply to crustaceans (including Crayfish), echinoderms, molluscs, or shellfish. There are no prohibitions on using bait to fish for crayfish.

Regards,

Stephen MacIver|Policy & Regulations Analyst|Fish, Wildlife and Habitat Management Branch|Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations|Phone (250) 387-9767|Email: [email protected]

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I believe he was using hotdogs.
Cheaper the better! Price is the first indicator. Second indicator is that it looks like something you would be afraid to feed a dog. Final confirmation is the ingredients. If it says something like "may contain beef and/or pork and/or chicken products" you have found good crayfish bait.

I have used dry dog food as well. In this case, I added a can of "chicken delight" cat food to one of the traps and just popped the lid a little.

Some guys especially in the south swear by chicken livers. As arrgh! mentioned trout pellets should work good too. Hunters can get creative too and take home a little of the "non edible" stuff that can be turned into crayfish :)
 

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My son and I were at the Vedder today and hand caught about 30 of them it was a pretty cool experience to see my 12 year old go under water and grab them without hesitation.
 
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