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the angler

(lobster) crayfish???

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can anyone tell me about the bright orange crayfish in vermillon, that look like lobsters. are they that color all the time and quite numerous? i believe they are rusty crayfish. thanks

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Yes, They are rusty crayfish, a non native species. The story I get is some (Contact Us Please) brought them here for bait 15-20 years ago and the population has exploded,destroying vegetation, primarily on the east end of the lake. they are a major nuisance when fishing live bait . Kill any of them you come in contact with. Oh yeah,don't walk in the water without foot protection. They like toes almost as well as nightcrawlers.

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They are sure making the bass BIGGER and fatter and more plentiful! Im all for em.

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they donn't seem to be hurting the fishing. East end been much better than west this year. frown.gif

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I have noticed in places where there used to be TONS of weeds, they are almost ALL gone. Better for the fishermen I guess, cause it helps concentrate fish.

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I know they like to eat crawlers!! I bring along an extra dozen just for them. I always wondered why you can catch them in 30+ feet of water and yet see them working the shoreline.

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The rusty crayfish are everywhere! I have caught them in 76 feet of water by Spider Island! shocked.gif I dropped a jig/minnow down there a couple of years ago and just let it set on the bottom foe a couple of minutes and pulled up a rusty!

The rustys have ruined almost all of the good weed beds on the East End of Vermilion. This has removed a lot of spawning areas for minnows,perch, ect. from the lake. Not good! mad.gif

Cliff

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Quote:

The rusty crayfish are everywhere! I have caught them in 76 feet of water by Spider Island!
shocked.gif
I dropped a jig/minnow down there a couple of years ago and just let it set on the bottom foe a couple of minutes and pulled up a rusty!

The rustys have ruined almost all of the good weed beds on the East End of Vermilion. This has removed a lot of spawning areas for minnows,perch, ect. from the lake. Not good!
mad.gif

Cliff


Im curious to know what are the ill effects of that? Doesnt seem to be hurting the fish population. Although Ive noticed the perch numbers have drastically declined since I was a kid.

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Less weeds = less oxygen/ less protection for forage fish and 1st year class sport fish. I was down on the far east end a couple of years back and slipped into a bay that looked beautiful from theh mouth. Not a single weed to be found. Crawfish were completely covering the bottom as I moved through. Water was crystal clear and I didn't see a single fish in there. No signs of spawning activity on the bottom either. I'll agree that the smallies eat them with a vengence before, during and after the molt but they eat tons of perch, bass, crappie, bluegill and tullibee minnows too. Just my 2 cents worth.

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All the posts about the bad results of having too many crayfish in Lake V. Doesn;t anyone up there trap them? They are good eating, People in Louisiana raise them in ponds and make a living selling them. wink.gifwink.gif

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Ive seen drunk people eat them live

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At the pace we pull them out with a trap, and knowing that they are almost eveywhere (at least on the East end) I'd imagine that someone could make a good business farming them. Then again, I wouldn't even want to contemplate the permitting and licensing required to do anything on a lake like that.

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There are plenty of people trapping them for their own use, but the DNR has nixed commercial trapping for now. I belive the DNR thought the local strain of crayfish would also be harvested in the process. I have not seen a local red crayfish since the rustys took over the lake! frown.gif

Cliff

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thanks for the info on these, are the crayfish orange color all year long?

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The orange colored crayfish are Rustys that are moulting.

They are normally greenish brown colored with a brown spot on each side of their bodies.

Cliff

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Quote:

They are sure making the bass BIGGER and fatter and more plentiful! Im all for em.


Quote:

Better for the fishermen I guess


Wow, an expert on rusty crayfish I see. You're right, let's let them destroy the native population and wipe out all the weeds in the lake that the fish use in so many ways - that's got to be better for fishing.

Quote:

Ive seen drunk people eat them live


Cool, good post.

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Quote:

Quote:

They are sure making the bass BIGGER and fatter and more plentiful! Im all for em.


Quote:

Better for the fishermen I guess


Wow, an expert on rusty crayfish I see. You're right, let's let them destroy the native population and wipe out all the weeds in the lake that the fish use in so many ways - that's got to be better for fishing.

Quote:

Ive seen drunk people eat them live


Cool, good post.


Its not been proven that rusty crayfish cause a decline in fish populations.

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The FDA will never allow them to be sold as a food source. Crustaceans such as crayfish absorb more mercury and pollutants than anything else in the lake. Because of the acid rain, etc....they carry contaminents above what is acceptable for food intake and therefore considered inedible. To those of you who eat lots of these you may want to refrain from eating too many. They taste good, however the long term effects may not be a good thing......

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I just got back from a two week stay at my place and actually commented too my wife that it seems that we have a considerable amount less of the crayfish at our shoreline than the past 3 years. Usually at night you can't even see the shore (exaggerated), this year not so many too see. I don't know if they are dieing or just moved locations.

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Interesting discussion here. Has anyone caught any of the really orange crayfish? I understand that there is some in Frazer Bay.

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I harvest and eat crayfish on fishing trips, so I found your comment about the FDA interesting. Info from a FDA/EPA fish and shellfish mercury monitoring study I found online shows generally that crayfish are quite lower in mercury than many other species of marine, freshwater, and shellfish sold for human consumption (see http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/admehg3.html). Crayfish mercury concentations ranged 0.014-0.051 ppm, much lower than other freshwater fish such as: largemouth bass, walleye, perch, sucker, and whitefish. More info on where these fish came from might be on the site. While you're correct that crayfish are a product of their environment (and thus contaminants), crayfish might actually be lower in mercury and safer to eat than at least some fish. I couldn't find any info suggesting crayfish were inedible. So, I'm wondering where you got your info. Crayfish taste great, just like lobster (only a little more work). Minnesota Sea Grant has recipes (see http://www.seagrant.umn.edu/fisheries/craving_for_crayfish). Unless I get further info, its bon appetit.

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Thanks for the reply. I've seen a pic of crayfish taken from Frazer Bay. They're bright orange, no spots on the sides, but look otherwise like rusties. They're bright orange, but apparently were not cooked. I'm concerned its another potentially invasive crayfish in the lake. Any thoughts?

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I can vouch on the bright orangies.....

in Frazer ...

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I found a large dead orange one up north of Pine Island in June. It was a rusty after I took a real hard look. I do believe there is also a blue crayfish in Vermilion that is also an exotic but are pretty rare. There are also some blue native ones. The reefs had tons of small rusties on them this summer so I don't think the population is down much. Maybe the larger ones are down.

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Pretty sure one of the major reason's why the fish are higher in mercury etc...is from what they eat. Crayfish being a primary food source.....I will try and find out more on this as it was actually the fisheries/DNR that gave me that info. when I inquired about selling them commercially. However that was 10 years ago, so new studies may say otherwise......

Some of these things get pretty darn big though. I swear there are a few that would rival small lobsters. Put a camera down anywhere and you won't want to swim in the lake again.....

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