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Thread: catching signal crayfish

  1. #1
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    Default catching signal crayfish

    hi all,
    whilst i was at work today i was refilling a pay & display machine which is located next to the river ver in st albans. i happened to notice a fairly large signal crayfish at the edge of the bank in the shallows.
    catching the little bugger wouldnt have been much of an issue as my colleague does it with some line and bits of spam! but after a bit of research i've found you need a licence to catch them along with permission from the landowner.
    i dont think permission will be a problem as my works are in 'partnership' with the local council and i have access to the relevant people.
    does anyone on here have one of these licences and how easy is it to obtain one?

  2. #2
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    Other people have asked the same question MD and here's one thread on the subject of getting a licence.

    On another note, if you go down to Verulanium park there's loads in the river there leading up to the Fighting Cocks from the watermill. Last time I walked along there I counted at least 15 of the little beggars.
    Man of Tanith...
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  3. #3
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    thats exactly where i was!! cheers for the link the search engine on here is pants.

  4. #4
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    it does make me laugh we need a licence to fish an alien species out of our own waters. but then thats great british beaurocracy for you.
    All weather is walking weather!

  5. #5

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    To catch them with meat or an old chicken carcass you do not need a licence but it is illegal to put them back.

    You will need a licence however to trap them ie.with a pot or net trap.
    It is nigh on impossible to get a licence , I have tried recently. They will not accept eating them as a reason to trap,you could try research as a reason but I think you would have to prove that.
    I can only speak for my area as I am told all are different,however I have never met or spoken to on any forum ,anyone who has been successful in obtaining a licence.

    Not very positive but that's my experience.

    I agree its a total nonsense but that's England for you

    GS

  6. #6
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    gunslinger your absolutely right, i have researched this a little more and i think one of the deciding factors on issueing said licence is the area your operating in and the severity of the infestation!
    apparently the river ver no longer has any native white claw crayfish as the signal crayfish have wiped them out.
    its a real shame cos the river ver was so full of rubbish etc in the 80's that i only ever saw stickleback in there. now in the summer i always see trout etc.

  7. #7
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    I was talking to an ecologist at work yesterday about this. We have a load of traps for survey work so I asked whether they could be used, she said it was a good idea but you would need a license. Her main concern was that people would be able to identify the signals over the white clawed.

  8. #8

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    I got a trap at the midlands game fair.. i havn't tried getting a licence (I havn't used it) but i read that another concern is that when the dominant males...often the first to be caught..are removed and the trapping is not done regulary it allows the others to surge and thrive.
    George
    "Modern man talks of the battle with nature, forgetting if he ever won the battle he would find himself on the losing side" Fritz Schumacher

  9. #9
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    There are a few issues with trapping - several to do with other species welfare.
    Many traps sold are actually illegal to use as the size of apature is to large and other non target (but protected) species can become trapped and killed in them, also there are hygene and crayfish pluage considerations as well as the basic identification.
    The licence is a mechanism of keeping track of this.

    So what seems to be OTT on the surface, when you understand it makes much better sence. Se the other thread here for someone who made the mistake when identifying and got signals confused with natives and ended up in court.

  10. #10
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    OK - so I'm out fishing (with permission, licence etc.) and I dangle some meaty treat into the water and pull out some signal crayfish. Can I now safely, and without fear of conviction, cook them up and eat them? Is it that simple?
    Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerne View Post
    OK - so I'm out fishing (with permission, licence etc.) and I dangle some meaty treat into the water and pull out some signal crayfish. Can I now safely, and without fear of conviction, cook them up and eat them? Is it that simple?
    Yep, they are very tasty!!!
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  12. #12
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    the there are 2 main reasons for the licence:

    1) to stop trapping of the natives. You will not get a licence for an area with a know population of natives.

    2) to protect otters. With the increase in otters there has also been an increase in the number of otter drownded in traps. THe licence requires the entrance of the trap to be no more than 90mm in diametre - this size so it is too small for an otter to get its head in.

    Part of the problem is due to TV prgrams and t'net telling the publci to go catch them, with out them having a clue what they are doing.

    Not stupid bureaucracy but to ensure sensible control to prevent impact on other species.

    In reality you are unlikely to get an EA licence for any waters north of the Trent due to populations of natives in northern rivers.

    however, "rod and line" ie string and meat is fine with rod licence and land owners permission.

    Or just go wit ha kids fishing rod and lift rocks - even easier, if 3 year old can catch them like that adults should be able to.


    also the consensus is now that trapping unless done to remove the entire population makes the problem worse. Trapping disproptionally, removes the larger aggressive males. These are carnivorous - and the main control on the population. Removing these large males has a 2 fold impact -

    1) it allows more smaller once to bread resulting an overall higher population.

    2) the void left for the "alpha" males is filled by males moving in from other areas, increasing the spread of the fungal disease, that kills natives, from infected areas.

    Also one of the conditions is that traps are sterilised before each use, to reduce spreading the disease and eggs.
    Last edited by EdS; 22-04-2010 at 17:38.
    Townies- the people that spend the money that allows rural folk to still live in the pretty bits

  13. #13
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    out of interest what is the penalty for trapping without a license?
    FEATHER FORGE - Traditional Blacksmithing

    He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever. Chinese Proverb

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    Quote Originally Posted by Everything Mac View Post
    out of interest what is the penalty for trapping without a license?
    they get very angry, and they write you a letter telling you how angry they are.

    actually i don't know
    'judge a man not by his answers, but by his questions' voltaire

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by wattsy View Post
    they get very angry, and they write you a letter telling you how angry they are.

    actually i don't know
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/cumbria/8618142.stm


  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Everything Mac View Post
    out of interest what is the penalty for trapping without a license?
    About £50 a crayfish iirc.

    cheers,
    M
    Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass; it's about learning to dance in the rain.

  17. #17
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    Exclamation Crayfish Bylaws

    National crayfish trapping byelaws
    On 1 June 2005, the Environment Agency introduced a package of crayfish Byelaws that will allow them, under certain conditions, to approve the trapping of crayfish in England and Wales. In the past only the Thames Region of the Environment Agency had the authority to allow this activity.

    The hope is that the byelaws will aid in the control non-native populations, and where appropriate, commercially exploit them. They also hope that these byelaws will go some way towards protecting the remaining native crayfish populations.

    If you are thinking of trapping crayfish you should bear in mind that there are a number of conditions that need to be met. Permission to trap will be dependent on local situations, in particular the presence of the native crayfish. The EA will also take into account the possible detrimental effect that trapping could have on other species, such as protected animals like otters and water voles. Many water courses go through private properties and it will be your responsibility to obtain the permission of the landowner before you commence. You should also try and ensure that the traps are inspected every 24 hours, and disinfected after use.

    You should also be aware that if you reintroduce the caught crayfish into any other waters, without the required licence, you could be liable for prosecution under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and this could result in a heavy fine.

    We would strongly advise you to seek advice from your local Environment Agency Officer before you make an application.

    Crayfish trapping advice packs are available from the National Fisheries Laboratory 01480 483968. Further information on these byelaws can be found on the Environment Agency website.

    http://="http://www.defra.gov.uk/foo...sh.htm#ISSUE"]
    http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/

    What goes on in the woods. Stays in the woods......

  18. #18

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    I caught some whilst fly fishing!!! they hooked on to my line and wouldn't let go the guy at the fishery trapped them (under licence) and said we were to stamp on them - this seemed a waste, so my m8 reintroduced them to other waters....


    Boiling on his stove, and very nice they were too

  19. #19
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    http://www.bushcraftuk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=56130

    here is another current thread on crayfish, which has several good links in it,

  20. #20
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    hi all, well its finally happened! i sent an email well over 6 months ago to my local council regarding trapping and didnt hear anything back until today.
    apparently the old boy in charge of parks etc had retired so they were working their way through the list of unaswered emails! anyways i got chatting to this guy who is now in charge and he has provisionally given me permission to trap american signal crayfish in the river and lakes down in st albans. he is going to send out a permission letter from st albans council to me in the next few days and i should (fingers crossed) be trapping in a few weeks.

    i will be posting photos of my exploits in trapping these tasty little monsters in the near future.
    also known as 'gunbunny'

  21. #21
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    not wanting to spoil things but all that letter gives you is land owners permission to trap - so don't forget your EA license.
    Townies- the people that spend the money that allows rural folk to still live in the pretty bits

  22. #22
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    never fear i have been in contact with them already and i'm in the process of filling in the new form they brought out specifically for trapping crayfish it was just the permission from the landowner that has previously hampered my efforts.
    http://www.efishbusiness.co.uk/formsandguides/cr1.pdf
    Last edited by m.durston; 04-06-2010 at 19:10.
    also known as 'gunbunny'

  23. #23
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    fishing is one of the oldest and most reliable ways of gathering food, we've been doing it for many a millenia and it has always been an important part of life that EVERYONE knew how to do and most people had to do to feed their families.

    now we arent allowed to do it without paying for a license. stupid modern life.

    TJ

  24. #24
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    I think I may have posted this little tidbit once before in another thread, but regardless, I'll do it again. If you are planning on fishing for crayfish the simplest setup is the old fashioned cane (bamboo) pole. Just tie on a length of line sufficient for the depth of the water, no reel necessary at all. On the end of your line, tightly tie a small piece of bacon rind. Be sure it is the rind, and not just a piece of bacon. Bacon rind is incredibly tough and will stand up to many, many crayfish grabbing on with out any loss.

    Also, it just seems to be a crayfish magnet. Many people though out the South have fished for crayfish (crawdads) in this manner for many years. I can personally attest that it works remarkably well. When I was a boy and we wanted large numbers of crayfish, fast, we just seined them out using a minnow seine. We never trapped them.

    They are not protected here at all, and there is no limit on amount taken. No license or permit is required.
    In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.

    --- John Muir

  25. #25
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    i heard this about bacon from a mate, its definitely one of the methods i'll be trying. also as a note i have used the remnants of last nights kfc to lure them before lol
    also known as 'gunbunny'

  26. #26
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    i am now fully legal!!! as promised i got my letter from the relevant guys at the council and i now have my licence from the EA along with all the tags etc for the traps.
    went out last night and set two traps, one in the lake and the other in the river. the lake one was empty but i did catch 4 in the river trap so i dont think thats too bad for a first go lol
    also known as 'gunbunny'

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by m.durston View Post
    i am now fully legal!!! as promised i got my letter from the relevant guys at the council and i now have my licence from the EA along with all the tags etc for the traps.
    went out last night and set two traps, one in the lake and the other in the river. the lake one was empty but i did catch 4 in the river trap so i dont think thats too bad for a first go lol
    Congratulations on getting the licence etc.

    I take it you're doing the trapping night time only so you don't upset the locals
    Man of Tanith...
    I am allergic to..... veet for men, duct tape,handcuffs,hair dye,razors and
    all such things that can do unpleasant things to me

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mesquite View Post
    Congratulations on getting the licence etc.

    I take it you're doing the trapping night time only so you don't upset the locals
    your right in thinking i'm only going out at night, i know what thieving gits some of the local scallies are lol. also i actually made a point of laminating the consent letter and the licence just in case i get stopped. i went out at around 11pm last night thinking that the area would be deserted...... dog walkers everywhere lol
    i ended up chatting with a couple who were being led about by a couple of irish wolfhounds and they were as good as gold about it all, but i do expect to explain what i am doing every now and again.
    although i must admit i did get a bit of hassle whilst walking by the river, namely being divebombed by bats! i did resist the urge to scream like a girl and shout "RABIES!!!"
    Last edited by m.durston; 19-06-2010 at 13:53.
    also known as 'gunbunny'

  29. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cledan99 View Post
    my m8 reintroduced them to other waters....
    Not only criminal but despicable, Cledan!

    I realise it was probably done without malicious intent, I have myself introduced pike, perch and trout to waters, but it has been pretty much proved that American signal crayfish have been spread in Scotland by gangs hoping to benefit from sales to restaurants. I can think of no other explanation for the appearance of these aliens to rivers from the Borders to the Highlands.

    A number of restaurants have been done for passing them off as lobster or prawns and the only way I can see to eradicate this is to ban retailing them. One thing I am certain of is that encouraging a market in them will do nothing more than guarantee their thriving future.

    I'm not so certain that the reluctance to issue permits is entirely to protect other species but rather to protect landowner's rights. There have been at least two Scottish Estates which have refused access to the Environmental Agency. Three years down the line, instead of instantly seeking a compulsory order, they're still discussing what to do about it.

    Fishery Protection Orders, initiated for the Tay system, now encompass almost every river in Scotland with a salmon run. And where they were originally supposed to protect salmon stocks, their immediate effect was to eliminate fishing for any species, including trout, grayling and even pike on salmon rivers, as people who had no interest in salmon were soon being arrested under the legislation. I have yet to hear of a single conviction for taking fish, other than migratory salmonidae, from a river under a Protection Order, leading to my belief that the legislation is flawed and results in a monumental waste of Court time and resources!

    It was never anything more than a Landowner Protection Racket, and the same legislation will result in your arrest if you even attempt to remove what has been identified as the biggest single threat to salmon stocks ever, the American signal crayfish!
    ‘My only country is six feet high and whether I love it or not I'll die for its independence.’ Norman MacCaig

  30. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by m.durston View Post
    although i must admit i did get a bit of hassle whilst walking by the river, namely being divebombed by bats! i did resist the urge to scream like a girl and shout "RABIES!!!"
    Now that was funny!
    ‘My only country is six feet high and whether I love it or not I'll die for its independence.’ Norman MacCaig

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