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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking about catching a bunch of crayfish and having a big boil with some family and friends. When I talked with our local district DNR folks last year when this first popped into my head, the answer I got was that nothing was needed...but they didn't seem to sure. Other than having a fishing license and making sure I don't transport the little guys to water other than my boiling pot, does anybody know what laws might pertain to trapping a bunch of crawdads for personal consumption? This would be out of Lake Michigan waters if that makes any difference.
 

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I have no idea but it sounds like you are planning a MS outing!! When and where shall we meet you? :)
 

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Just a fishing license. Have fun, they taste like lobster, just need a lot of them.;)
 

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Hmmmm...Baby lobsters! I'll bring the butter. :D

Welcome to the site "Banshee's Wail"!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Boehr--Thanks for the confirmation.

Trapping them doesn't seem like it would be too hard. I'll probably set them overnight baited with a can of cat food punched with a couple of holes. Alternatively, using a piece of chicken on a string and dipping for them at night around the rocks/rip-rap shouldn't be to difficult either. It might take longer to get a pile of them though so I'll try trapping first. If they end up eating well.....I'll just keep my mouth shut about them. :)
 

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Caught a million of them last year! yummy served with wild rice, arrowhead root and cattail salad, with some morels and wild aspargas i found last year. lots of cold beer
 

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We eat up a lot of them from Hubbard Lake - My friends call'em Robsters since I'm the only person they know that eats them. I use one of those cylinder minnow traps off the dock - the thing will literally fill up in about 3 hours. I've found the best bait to be Chicken McNuggets. Though they'll go for just about any type of meat. I put them in a live well for at least 24 hours to give them time to "clean out" otherwise they have a bit of muddy taste to them. Enjoy!
 

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Boehr probably knows better than I do, but I remember reading in the guidebook that there was a limit of 25 per person and that the Rusty Crawfish could not even be in ones possesion. I'm sure if the Rusty's were getting boiled it would be ok. But the 25 a person thing seemed strange to me.
 

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Great idea...have done it myself several times...we use a minnow net, tie down a piece of limburger, or something similar. Drop the net next to a wall near a dam...they fill it up in no time. good eats !
 

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True on the Rustic Crayfish, can't possess. On regular crayfish there is no limit. If one was taking them for commercial purposes then we have some different laws but this thread is about personal use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Boehr--Okay, I'm probably making this more complicated than it needs to be but after reading some of the above, I have a few more questions. I was aware that Rusty Crayfish were considered nuisance species and had usage and/or tranportation to other waters limitations. I wasn't aware they couldn't be possessed though. In fact, here is what the MDNR web site says on these Rusty Crayfish guys:

A potential control of this aquatic alien may be as close as your cookbook. They can be used for a variety of tasty dishes. Michigan's fishing regulations place several restrictions on the use and sale of rusty crayfish in Michigan.

This would lead me to think that possession in and of itself wouldn't be an issue. So, let's say I head out and catch a bunch of crayfish and end up taking some of these Rusty guys home to the pot with me. Am I in violation of the law? Even though I'm doing as the DNR's web site suggests in eating them and getting them out of the ecosystem? I couldn't find anything else about crayfish on the DNR's web site and don't have access to a hard copy of a fishing guide right now.

Again, this is more complicated than I thought it would be but I'd rather do it right than be ignorant. Thanks in advance.
 

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Your correct on the rustic, I was in the commercial portion of the law where it is illegal to possess or sell. I stand corrected.
 

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If anyone wants to go let me know, I have 2 traps i have been itching to use. Did good on the Ausable 2 years ago. If you catch and carp or suckers, chunck them up then freeze them. Once they dethaw and the oils start running watch out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Originally posted by boehr
Your correct on the rustic, I was in the commercial portion of the law where it is illegal to possess or sell. I stand corrected.
Boehr--Thanks again for answering my questions and taking the time to clarify this issue for me.
 

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Hey guys, I got the new 2004 fishing guide, it says in the "You May Not" section on page 5. It states; "Commercially take ,possess, or sell rusty crayfish(Orconectes rusticus) in Michigan."
 
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