Fishing for Crayfish

Foods for free. Anything you want to post about wild foods or foraging, hunting and fishing. Please note, this section includes pictures of hunting.

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Bubblette
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Re: Fishing for Crayfish

Post: #126546 Bubblette
Thu Oct 02, 2008 6:46 pm

I saw the programme What to Eat Now with the crayfish and says that you need a licence, but then the internet tells me that a licence is needed to keep them, and other times says a trapping licence is needed and in some areas (mainly area not down south) you can't trap them at all - I'm confused! Also along with this (sort of) is another question - is a licence needed for sea fishing or getting tasty morsels (eg mussels) off the beach?

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MKG
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Re: Fishing for Crayfish

Post: #126574 MKG
Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:39 pm

Bubblette wrote:I saw the programme What to Eat Now with the crayfish and says that you need a licence, but then the internet tells me that a licence is needed to keep them, and other times says a trapping licence is needed and in some areas (mainly area not down south) you can't trap them at all - I'm confused! Also along with this (sort of) is another question - is a licence needed for sea fishing or getting tasty morsels (eg mussels) off the beach?


You do need a licence to catch crayfish. In the south of the country (where the native crayfish has totally disappeared) the licences are ten a penny. In the north (where the native species is still just hanging on) you're extremely unlikely to get one because you might further damage the native population. Keeping crayfish is another kettle of fish (oh no!!!!!). Those licences are extremely difficult (for difficult, read nigh on impossible) to get because it was the keepers of Signal Crayfish who caused all the heartache in the first place by letting the buggers go in British waters. So it all depends upon the area where you and the native crayfish live (or don't).

Last time I looked (it may have changed now) you didn't need any licence to fish in the sea or in tidal waters. As for mussels etc., you don't need a licence unless you're running a gang of gatherers at less than minimum wage rates. On the other hand, you need to know where to gather them to prevent yourself coming down with nasty intestinal infections.
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matowakan
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Re: Fishing for Crayfish

Post: #143442 matowakan
Thu Feb 19, 2009 7:17 pm

I invested in a crayfish trap last year and so far have tried about 5 rivers to no avail.
I applied to the right people for a licence but apparantly dont need one for this postcode - DT10 2Hx as the rivers are so infested.
Now what I want to know,is there a season for them,can anyone suggest rivers in North Dorset to try.also what is the best bait, I have tried bacon and ham so far.
I am getting a bee in my bonnet about this and in danger of becoming obsessed with them!!!!Please save my sanity!

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benner
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Re: Fishing for Crayfish

Post: #143448 benner
Thu Feb 19, 2009 7:47 pm

Not sure about time best of year for catching them, but try pork luncheon meat :spam1: or a fish or even cat food!
The EA tell me there are no signal in any of my local rivers so I haven't had a chance to use my trap yet. I've caught them at one of the day ticket lake fisheries in the New Forest though, that was whilst fishing for carp, with luncheon meat.
best of luck to you
Benner
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matowakan
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Re: Fishing for Crayfish

Post: #194442 matowakan
Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:21 pm

I too wanted to trap for personal consumption and thought I would do it legeally and properly and what a minefield.
I applied for a licence but first I have to tell them what part of what river I want to trap in,then I have to get that owners permission for that part of the river .Then...! I reapply to the Environment agency and they will tell me if I can fish there.
I asked if they could suggest a local river but they say they cant do that!
Hugh FW made it look so easy on the TV !!!!
All I want is to catch the signal to eat.
Any suggestions for me here in N Dorset?
Fist time I applied I was told that we are inundated and shouldnt need a licence.So now I am confused and fed up!!!
Fiona

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benner
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Re: Fishing for Crayfish

Post: #194540 benner
Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:54 pm

Do you already have the pack from the EA?

As far as I know you need to first ask for permission to trap from the landowner. If you get the thumbs up, then just fill in the application form send it off to the EA and wait for your tags.

I still have 2 application packs here from 3 years ago. Just haven't had the time to venture up to the nearest infested waters.

Let me know how you get on.

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matowakan
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Re: Fishing for Crayfish

Post: #194587 matowakan
Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:24 am

Hi Ben,
Yes I have the pack and filled it in but now I have to find a landowner to ask permission from and put it on the form.
Originally I sent the form off and that is when I had a phonecall from a nice man at the EA telling me I have to find the river as they cant or wont tell me where I can go.
However I would have thought that if we are inundated they should be happy to tell me where to go to reduce the signal population.
So as I dont know where they are abundant I cant ask the landowner.
I have tried asking local fishermen but so far they all fish in lakes so that no good.
It is so temtping to drop the trap in a river and see what comes up!!!
Fiona

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MKG
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Re: Fishing for Crayfish

Post: #194594 MKG
Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:32 am

Don't ignore lakes and ponds - signals will quite happily live there if they get in. The river Brit certainly has signal crays, so if you trace its course and note any links (drainage ditches etc) you'll know where to find the buggers. Apparently, the Test, Itchen and Avon still have native crayfish (which surprised me) so I doubt you'd get a licence there.

Best of luck.

Mike
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matowakan
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Re: Fishing for Crayfish

Post: #194615 matowakan
Thu Apr 29, 2010 3:04 pm

Hi Mike,
I must admit I had forgot about lakes and ponds so will do some investigating.
Thanks
Fiona

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benner
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Re: Fishing for Crayfish

Post: #194637 benner
Thu Apr 29, 2010 6:45 pm

MKG wrote: Apparently, the Test, Itchen and Avon still have native crayfish (which surprised me) so I doubt you'd get a licence there.

Best of luck.

Mike


I should add that according to the EA man there aren't signals in them either. However I'm sure I had an email from someone who professed to have been granted a licence to fish the Itchen. I do know of a lake fishery in the New forest where there were signals.

How easy is it for you to travel to Wiltshire, I know both the Kennet & Lambourne are full of them. I need to venture up to the Basingstoke canal and ask around a few places I think.

If you have a go without a licence you run the risk of losing your traps, be careful!
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matowakan
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Re: Fishing for Crayfish

Post: #194649 matowakan
Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:04 pm

I can travel to wilts, I know my son and friends caught a load of signal somewhere up there one day but as you say without a licnce it is risky.

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southeast-isher
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Re: Fishing for Crayfish

Post: #200558 southeast-isher
Sun Jun 20, 2010 10:04 pm

Anyone know what the situtation is with Crayfish here in the UK?

I've got two traps and if allowed i'd like to give it a try. Can anyone recommend locations in the East Sussex area?

If not, what else can i catch in my traps? Lobsters? ...i am near the sea, but rivers near too.

Any tips appreciated :-)

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StripyPixieSocks
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Re: Fishing for Crayfish

Post: #200563 StripyPixieSocks
Mon Jun 21, 2010 12:13 am

You HAVE to apply for a licence in the UK and it's quite difficult to get if you live almost anywhere out of the South of the UK. You then have to ask permission of the landowner that the river runs through and after that it's plain sailing however you MUST return native crayfish to the stream and there are heavy penalties for not doing to.

We've just applied for our licence and have been told we will almost definitely get one but they're not handing out alot at the moment.

You can do Lobsters and Crabs etc and if you are dropping the creels by hand from the shore then there's no limit to the catch size but \you MUST return 'V' notched lobsters or 'berried' lobsters to the sea because these are the breeding females, same with crabs and there are minimum size limits as well. However if you're going to do it from a boat you can only take 2 crustaceans a day be it two crab, two lobster of 1 crab and 1 lobster and you CANNOT sell them.

We've got our lobster creel arriving tomorrow after doing much research on the net and phoning around to ask questions.

Check our Defra, your local Environment Agency and your local harbour masters to see if there is any permits you need etc

Good luck :)

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Re: Fishing for Crayfish

Post: #200619 southeast-isher
Mon Jun 21, 2010 11:53 am

Thank you Stripy, i have just emailed the Environment Agency.

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Re: Fishing for Crayfish

Post: #233314 GuyMitchell
Fri May 27, 2011 11:50 am

I found some cray fish in somerset, look for small streams (2-3 ft across) with plenty of trees on either side(they nest in the roots), you can tell there are cray fish around because there is alot of erosion of the stream bank next to the roots of the trees. The season is July and August. This is by far the best time as the streams have less water and the cray fish are quite condensed.

I was absolutely astounded by the shear numbers that we pulled out the stream. 40 in an hour or so. We found a small pool and chucked in some bacon on the end of a piece of string, within seconds there were 2 or 3 coming out at a time. If you find a stream and chuck some bacon in and you aren't getting cray fish within 10 minutes then I suggest you need to find another stream.

As for getting a licence. Pff , they were all signal cray fish. Also we were fishing in such a remote location I would be very surprised if anyone checked for a licence.


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