Anyone trap/eat wild crayfish? - Chicago Illinois Fishing Forum, Information & Reports
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Old 05-22-2011, 12:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Anyone trap/eat wild crayfish?

I have to say lately I feel like I'm turning into a forager. I pounded the woods the last two weeks and have been rewarded with dryad's saddles, morels and wild onions. Well now, I've got my sights set on crayfish. Sometime this summer I plan on doing a low country boil again (last year's boil was a huge hit with my friends), but this time I'll be using crayfish instead of crab legs and shrimp.

My question is does anyone else trap wild crayfish and eat them? Or do you just use them as bait? I set out some traps last night and got 25 nice size crays, but I know I could get a whole lot more if I set out enough traps. Whenever the perch come in I'll have my traps with me to see if I can bag some softshells (because who wants to pay $12 a dozen?). I know you have to purge them too before you cook them, but that's not a problem. I just want to know if anyone has eaten any of the local species or not.
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Old 05-22-2011, 10:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Anyone trap/eat wild crayfish?

Lake Vermillion is infested with rusty crayfish. My kids take a gulp maggot or just a leader and let the crayfish grab the snap as they put it in front of them. They do hold the gulp alot longer. Boil them up and your good to go.
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Old 05-23-2011, 09:33 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Anyone trap/eat wild crayfish?

I moved this to chefs forum, thinking you'd get better responses here... I've had boiled Rusty's before... They ain't bad... The Chinese Buffet near me has them once in a while...
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Old 05-23-2011, 10:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Anyone trap/eat wild crayfish?

No thanks!

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Old 05-23-2011, 12:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Anyone trap/eat wild crayfish?

I've never done it but know a lot that do out on the west coast. One thing I heard them talk about was "washing" the crayfish before cooking. What that meant was they would put they crawdads in a cage and submerge them in water for a while, keeping the trap suspended off of the bottom surface of the lake/reservoir/river. Evidently, this would help to rinse a lot of the sediment out of their shell system before cooking. You might want to google it, or post a question on a site I used to participate when i lived out west - www.westernbass.com.
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Old 05-23-2011, 09:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Anyone trap/eat wild crayfish?

Thanks for the replies guys. I actually trapped a few rusties along with another species of crayfish. I'm providing them with food, but I am worried the big rusties might start killing the smaller ones. I'm up to date and familiar with all the regulations as well, I just wanted to know who's eaten them from Illinois. My buddy just dropped off some fish guts earlier today, so I've even got fresh bait next time I set my traps.

JKS - I'm hoping to get out in my canoe and set some traps along salt creek in order to get enough for my boil in June. Me and my buddy plan on getting a good 75-100 for a test batch. If they're not up to par, I'll just order a 30 lb. bag from my local fishmonger. I believe May and June are the best months to get them from down South.

Rooger- I know that it is advised to always purge your crays for a day or two before cooking. Some say use salt water to make them vomit up their stomach contents while others say wash them in fresh water until the water runs clear. Personally, I'm thinking of washing them first, then purging them to get the cleanest possible end product.
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Old 05-23-2011, 09:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Anyone trap/eat wild crayfish?

Salt Creek? Enjoy the poo crawdads!
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Old 05-24-2011, 02:12 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Anyone trap/eat wild crayfish?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PowernFinesse
Thanks for the replies guys. I actually trapped a few rusties along with another species of crayfish. I'm providing them with food, but I am worried the big rusties might start killing the smaller ones. I'm up to date and familiar with all the regulations as well,[youtube][/youtube]
If you were to read the il fishing rulebook, you wouldnt have to read past pg 3 to see what you are do'n is highly immoral. You would be safer to have in possession a bale of marijuana than what you are raising as pets. You have revealed it on the internet for all to see and now you are in grave danger. Flush those rusties quickly before the men arrive with the search warrant
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Old 05-24-2011, 04:26 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Anyone trap/eat wild crayfish?

Actually, Page 3 is correct(if you don't count the cover)... I think the issue here is transporting "Live" crawfish... As long as you can say, "They Dead", you can have your trunk lined with them(for your personal use only)........
http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/fishing/Doc ... mation.pdf
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:06 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Anyone trap/eat wild crayfish?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marabou
Salt Creek? Enjoy the poo crawdads!
Yeah, that is probably among the worst places in IL to get eaters. The Chicago park lagoons are literally going to be cleaner than the Salt. I'm not into eating crays to begin with, but I would at least find cleaner waters than that. Crays are, after all, the quintessential bottom feeders.
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