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It's a great time to be a Signal Crayfish


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I fancied a go at trapping a few invasive American Signal Crayfish for the BBQ.

 

Rather than just going ahead and putting a trap out as most people seem to do, I duly downloaded and completed a licence application from the Environment Agency. No mean feat to complete this baby as anyone who's tried will testify!

 

After five weeks waiting I got this reply back today, Wish I hadn't bothered!

 

If they don't have the the staff perhaps an amnesty period on fishing for this species would be more sensible? Their numbers are already exploding out of control to the detriment of our native crayfish.

 

Oh well I'll have to stick to my Grey Squirrel casserole and pan fried Japanese Knotweed. 😆

 

 

Signal Crayfish.jpg

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Surely if they are too understaffed to grant a licence then they are also too understaffed to patrol the thousands of miles of waterways to check licences?

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4 minutes ago, smiler said:

Surely if they are too understaffed to grant a licence then they are also too understaffed to patrol the thousands of miles of waterways to check licences?

Taken 1 hour ago...

20210721_143430.jpg

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14 minutes ago, smiler said:

Surely if they are too understaffed to grant a licence then they are also too understaffed to patrol the thousands of miles of waterways to check licences?

Yep.

In any case he's DDT (Done the Decent Thing and the EA's incompetence is not his fault), if I were him I'd just get on with it.

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13 minutes ago, Athy said:

Yep.

In any case he's DDT (Done the Decent Thing and the EA's incompetence is not his fault), if I were him I'd just get on with it.

Ive caught and eaten bucket loads yer honour. I have only written this under duress though, its all fibs realy.

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1 hour ago, Athy said:

Yep.

In any case he's DDT (Done the Decent Thing and the EA's incompetence is not his fault), if I were him I'd just get on with it.

Thanks, you're right and I might do just that. The irony is that if I hadn't applied I could have pleaded ignorance, now (like a prat), I've got myself a formal enforcement letter! 🙄 Just shows, keeping your head down and getting on with things in this life is usually the best bet!

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2 minutes ago, Withywindle said:

Thanks, you're right and I might do just that. The irony is that if I hadn't applied I could have pleaded ignorance, now (like a prat), I've got myself a formal enforcement letter! 🙄 Just shows, keeping your head down and getting on with things in this life is usually the best bet!

You could accidentaly catch some? I think its illegal to release signal crayfish back in the water.

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9 minutes ago, Withywindle said:

Thanks, you're right and I might do just that. The irony is that if I hadn't applied I could have pleaded ignorance, now (like a prat), I've got myself a formal enforcement letter! 🙄 Just shows, keeping your head down and getting on with things in this life is usually the best bet!

 

Whether you applied for it and were refused, or didn't apply for it in the first place, you are still acting illegally if you pull signal crayfish out.

 

If anyone is intending to break the law (whatever law it may be) I'd suggest it's best not to shout about it in on Tinternet. 

7 minutes ago, mrsmelly said:

You could accidentally catch some? I think its illegal to release signal crayfish back in the water.

 

Not now that he's made his intentions clear!

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Do you fish? If so, you could lower a baited drop net for minnows 'to use as bait' but when you pull it up, bursting with crayfish, you will be unable to legally release them...all perfectly legit!

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Smiler: Yes, and yes if they are thoroughly purged in fresh clean water (say 36 hours). 

 

 

1 minute ago, BWM said:

Do you fish? If so, you could lower a baited drop net for minnows 'to use as bait' but when you pull it up, bursting with crayfish, you will be unable to legally release them...all perfectly legit!

 

As I said above, the OP can't, because he has made his intentions perfectly clear.

Edited by Machpoint005
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2 minutes ago, Machpoint005 said:

 

Whether you applied for it and were refused, or didn't apply for it in the first place, you are still acting illegally if you pull signal crayfish out.

 

If anyone is intending to break the law (whatever law it may be) I'd suggest it's best not to shout about it in on Tinternet. 

 

Not now that he's made his intentions clear!

 

So exactly how do the EA link an anonymous person on an internet forum to a person in the real world.

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2 minutes ago, BWM said:

Do you fish? If so, you could lower a baited drop net for minnows 'to use as bait' but when you pull it up, bursting with crayfish, you will be unable to legally release them...all perfectly legit!

I do.... and I've been thinking of trying Minnows for Perch. 😉

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1 minute ago, smiler said:

Questions....

1 Are Signal Crayfish in the canals?

2 are they edible - heavy metals, pollution etc?

 

I've seen them between Hemel Hempstead and Uxbridge, and i'm sure they are found elsewhere. I doubt they are any more polluted than prawns, etc., going by the massive stream of pollutants flowing into the sea.

 Plenty in lakes and rivers anyway. 

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5 minutes ago, Machpoint005 said:

Smiler: Yes, and yes if they are thoroughly purged in fresh clean water (say 36 hours). 

 

 

 

As I said above, the OP can't, because he has made his intentions perfectly clear.

Not really, if i had been refused a shotgun licence it would in no way prevent me from shooting with an air weapon. 

 

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5 minutes ago, Machpoint005 said:

Smiler: Yes, and yes if they are thoroughly purged in fresh clean water (say 36 hours). 

Ok thanks

I thought they only lived in running water  ie streams and rivers.

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16 minutes ago, smiler said:

Ok thanks

I thought they only lived in running water  ie streams and rivers.

The Oxford canal has literaly thousands of them. Its easy to catch a bucketful very quickly.

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18 minutes ago, smiler said:

Ok thanks

I thought they only lived in running water  ie streams and rivers.

They, and two or three other crayfish species are common in lakes throughout the colne valley and much of Surrey - i can't comment on other areas but i am very familiar with the above. The lake opposite what used to be the horse and barge in Harefield is stuffed with them and when it was a top carp fishery they were hauled out by the ton and burnt (more than a few seemed to be 'burnt' elsewhere in tandooris as far away as Heathrow). This lake along with others nearby has very clean water, so you should be able to find something suitable and once you obtain a licence i would imagine one of the clubs would be happy to get rid of a few!

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57 minutes ago, mrsmelly said:

The Oxford canal has literaly thousands of them. Its easy to catch a bucketful very quickly.

Plenty on Sheffield basin according to a friend 😇 I can't eat them as I is allergic to fish and stuff.

He says don't boil them then throw on the BBQ and serve with garlic butter as they are horrible 🤣

Edited by peterboat
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The law seems to be an ass here; as far as the environment is concerned, signal crayfish are a non-native invasive species which have no positive side to them. You'd think it would make sense to positively encourage people to catch and eat them to try and keep their numbers down and stop them driving out the native crayfish, not require a permit that you can't get.

 

Yes there are lots of them in many places on the canals, and yes they're very tasty. Make sure you clean them in a bowl/bucket of water for a day or so before eating them. Also make sure there's a secure lid on this so you're not woken up in the night by spooky skittering noises on the boat roof as they try and make a run for it... 😉

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Funnily enough I saw one on the path this morning, just sat there, no damage.

 

Anyway apart from the frustration the issue with trying to have a licence the policy is trying to stop idiots transferring crayfish and the disease they carry to waters without them.

 

I'm not suggesting the OP is an idiot, just pointing out the licence system was created with all the right intentions 

 

Here you go

https://theconversation.com/invasive-species-why-britain-cant-eat-its-way-out-of-its-crayfish-problem-147961

 

Good idea, no money to enforce, typical for this country where invasive species are concerned 

Edited by tree monkey
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