michigan crayfish

Discussion in 'Warm Water Species Fishing' started by pike-pwner, Mar 17, 2008.

  1. as i'm sure we know, the rusty crawyfish isnt our native species. what is the native species of crayfish to michigan and are they legal to use for bait? also of you have any recipies for crayfish i would love to know.
    one more thing..... is it weird to catch pike on crayfish? one struck at it in the river by my house.

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  2. Not sure about you other questions....But Pike will eat crayfish as well as anything else they can get those teeth on! They love crayfish....

  3. We used to just throw potatoes off the end of the dock and about an hour after nightfall we would go out there with a net and flashlight and get tons. We would just cook them on the fire until they turned bright red and eat them right there while we sat around the fire and drank our beer. Man they were tasty.:corkysm55
  4. oh really, i thought they were strictly fish eaters. i do know in a pike-populated area 20% of a pike is other pike.
  5. Do an advanced search down in the "legal questions" forum using the word crayfish as the search word. This is a topic that has been discussed there in detail several times over the last several years.
  6. They eat night crawlers and leeches too :rant:.
    I do not think you can use the rusty crayfish as bait. But you can eat em. I think there was an informative article on this site about them. (Linda G?) Or informative post if not an article. Seems like it anyways.
    I think I get confused as old age sets in ;). Sometimes not...
  7. well i used them as bait, but i caught them right there, literally 20 feet away. so i know it may not matter to the law, but it matters to me lol
  8. I know for sure you can't use rusty crayfish for bait anywhere other than where you catch them. It may be illegal to use them as bait at all, but I don't know.

    Same may apply to gobies, but I've heard the bass & pike really go for 'em. I certainly don't see why anybody using them for bait where they already are would cause a problem ...
  9. If you want to use gobies for bait just get some Gulp! gobies... they work better and last longer!
  10. Unless they've changed the laws, which I haven't heard that they did, you can use the rusties for personal consumption and use as bait, but you CANNOT transport them from one body of water to another, nor can you sell them commercially.

    But that, if it hasn't already, doesn't really matter anymore, as I don't know of one single body of water anywhere in the state that isn't overloaded with rusties.

    In fact, I think the smaller natives are probably close to extinct in this state, as the rusties not only compete with the natives for food, but actually eat the natives. You can't stop them, they're a scourge that may take decades to show how bad they really are.

    Those were rusties outdoor junkie caught and ate, I'll bet. They're the only crayfish Michigan has that are large enough to be bothered with for food.
  11. 1) Yes the crawfish are good to eat-tails only. Taste like shrimp. Steam or boil them with a bit of "Old Bay" seasoning.

    2) The rusty craws eat good too.

    3) Fish eat 'em all-domestics, rusties, big ones & small ones. Not just pike, but 'eyes, perch, crappie, 'gills, catfish-you name it.

    3) The Huron river has lots of domestic craws in it.

  12. Here is what I found in the rules, a little different than I remember it. I pasted this in from the DNR unlawful activity pdf file.

    IT IS UNLAWFUL TO: Commercially take​
    , possess, or sell rusty crayfish (Orconectes rusticus) in Michigan.

    #12 Oldgrandman, Mar 18, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2015
  13. There's that word:

  14. ok, i didnt want to know about the legal.....ness of it, i mean its good to know, but i mainly want to know what the native species of michigan is... i did a search and came up empty handed.
  15. Type this into www.google.com, crayfish species+michigan, you'll get info on them. I did...FWIW.

    As for the possess thing, could be clearer I think. With that "comercially take" phrase ahead of it I have to wonder if thats what they are aiming the rule at, commercial harvesters.
    I mean if your possessing them over a pot of boiling water with salt, napkins, and melted butter on the side, you are doing the ecosystem a favor, :lol:!

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