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American Signal Crayfish
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Gareth



Joined: 29 Jun 2007
Posts: 85
Location: Norwich, Norfolk, UK

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 9:15 am    Post subject: American Signal Crayfish Reply with quote

Here in the UK, our rivers and waterways are plagued by the illegal introduction of American signal Crayfish, and so this how I do my little bit in helping to control their numbers.

You have got to be careful, regarding the amount of freshly caught crayfish that you eat.
They do carry some nasty bacteria in their gut which can be dangerous to humans.
I take between 40 and 50 live Crayfish a week for the table. A tip that I picked up a few years back, was to keep the live crayfish in a well aerated aquarium for a week. Feeding them only potato peelings. The peelings contain a chemical that flushes their gut out and kills the bacteria.
Another tip that I picked up, was to add a flavouring to the water that they are kept in. This has the effect of marinating them while they are still alive. I know that last sentence is going open me up to ridicule, disbelief, and other such things.
So here goes; For the 5 days that we have the Crayfish in the aquarium before we kill, cook and eat them.
Each day, I add a level teaspoon of either Schwartz Sizzling steak, or Garlic bread seasoning to the aquarium water. This has the effect of flavouring both the water that they are in, and the potato peelings that they are eating. No doubt, being the scavengers that the are, they are also picking up the small pieces of the seasoning and eating that to. It would not surprise me at all, if the seasoned water that is passing over their gills is also helping to flavour them up.
To kill them, I drop them into boiling water, and when I am certain they are dead. I wrap them singularly in tin foil and cook them under the grill or on the BBQ for about 15 minutes each.
To eat them just separate the tails from the body and shell them like you would a prawn, but be careful the shells are rock hard and sharp. Don't forget to crack the claws with a nut cracker and eat that flesh too.

Here is the way I do it.

My second favorite weir pool in the whole world.


The weir step (also made famous by my feral sturgeon fishing adventure).



In goes my new Crayfish trap, baited with a small dead fish.



It doesn't have to be in deep to do the business.



An hour and a half later and it has 20 of the buggers in it.



into the bucket with them.



About to do the business.



15 minutes later, and I'm halfway there.



Look what I had for dinner this evening!



Well, this picture will give you some idea of the average size of the Signal Crayfish that I caught and cooked. tiles on the work top are 8 X 8. (I still have marine wood glue on my finger nails from building my friend a boat)
http://overthegate.myfreeforum.org/about880.html&highlight=




That's the way to do it. Bit of salad, a few new potatoes, and a glass of Scrumpy.............................Yum, Yum.

Don't forget to use all the left over bits of Crayfish to make a stock. Boil them up with a couple of carrots, a parsnip, an onion, a couple of sticks of celery and a few bits of bell peppers.
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1629
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow Gareth, that looked awesome! So, whenever I've eaten crayfish in the shell, they always tell me to suck on the head. I do that for shrimp, but when I eat crayfish they tend to be too salty for me. I noticed that you don't mention eating any part of the head -- but those heads will probably make a great crayfish stock (as you mentioned).
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kgb1001001



Joined: 21 Dec 2005
Posts: 107

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 12:24 am    Post subject: You are so lucky! Reply with quote

Those are some yummy looking mudbugs! I had no idea that Crawdads had gone feral in Europe -- but you've certainly figured out the right approach to controlling the population.

Bon Appetit and Bon Temps Rouler!
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EngineeringProfessor



Joined: 07 Sep 2006
Posts: 77

PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 4:02 am    Post subject: Re: You are so lucky! Reply with quote

kgb1001001 wrote:
Those are some yummy looking mudbugs! I had no idea that Crawdads had gone feral in Europe -- but you've certainly figured out the right approach to controlling the population.

Bon Appetit and Bon Temps Rouler!


It is so, so pathetic! No potatoes, no corn-on-the-cob, and <gasp> no Cajun seasoning. Barbaric!

As for "controlling the population", they should be rejoicing in the infestation.
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Göingehof



Joined: 04 Oct 2007
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Signal crayfish are depleting the stock of domestic European crayfish. They are an aggresive intruder to these shores. Crayfish pest (virus) has depleted many rivers and chalk streams of the native species and now the Signal Crayfish is doing more damage. Eat as many as you can. In Sweden where I live there is a closed season for most of the year , so numbers of SC are increasing here too. However recent research shows that the virus that has killed off many native crayfish, can and does affect the SC due to lowering the SC's immune system through water pollution.

In Sweden crayfish are eaten in August in great quantities, so much so that crayfish are imported from China - Turkey - and other exotic climes. Apart from eating the flesh, the head is sucked for the flavoursome juicy contents. Lots of vodka is imbibed, one shot per claw is not unusual. One of the biggest crayfish parties is held in Malmö each mid-August at the local festival. The added ingredient is Crown Dill. Lots of dill in the cooking water imparts a delicate, fresh aroma and taste. Great Photos!
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EngineeringProfessor



Joined: 07 Sep 2006
Posts: 77

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 1:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Göingehof wrote:
Signal crayfish are depleting the stock of domestic European crayfish. They are an aggresive intruder to these shores. Crayfish pest (virus) has depleted many rivers and chalk streams of the native species and now the Signal Crayfish is doing more damage. Eat as many as you can. In Sweden where I live there is a closed season for most of the year , so numbers of SC are increasing here too. However recent research shows that the virus that has killed off many native crayfish, can and does affect the SC due to lowering the SC's immune system through water pollution.

In Sweden crayfish are eaten in August in great quantities, so much so that crayfish are imported from China - Turkey - and other exotic climes. Apart from eating the flesh, the head is sucked for the flavoursome juicy contents. Lots of vodka is imbibed, one shot per claw is not unusual. One of the biggest crayfish parties is held in Malmö each mid-August at the local festival. The added ingredient is Crown Dill. Lots of dill in the cooking water imparts a delicate, fresh aroma and taste. Great Photos!


Wow, this post hit me on so many levels.

The greatest pest that the planet has known is humans. We move species around in an un-natural way, so we have to face the consequences. So, when life hands you crayfish, make étouffée!

The dill with the vodka is interesting. Here in SET it's cajun seasoning and beer. When you "suck the head" you are trying to get the "fat", which is the hepatopancreas of the animal. Franky, étouffée without it is not worth eating. I could see eating dill-boiled mudbugs with vodka shots as I imagine you migt enjoy a good Texas crawfish boil eaten at a picnic table on newspapers, lots of paper towels and enough Shiner Bock to drown Rhode Island.
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jkarle1106



Joined: 10 Jul 2007
Posts: 16
Location: DeBary, Florida, USA

PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good job. This is just too ironic! We have use the eat em to controlled em method so well here in the US that most of our crayfish are farmed, and now are even being imported from China!

No ridicule or disbelief from me! I bet some Old Bay would be just about right to add to the aquarium water. Signals can live just fine in brackish water.


Jack Karle
""Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you: Jesus Christ and the American G.I. One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.""---Tony Blair, British Prime Minister.
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Keep it legal
Guest





PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 10:33 am    Post subject: Catching Crayfish in the U.K Reply with quote

It is illegal to catch Crayfish in the U.K unless you have been granted a trapping license by the environment agency.
If you get caught trapping without a licsence you will recieve a very large fine and or a possible prison sentence................
It is very irrisponsible for the author not make this clear
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DrBiggles



Joined: 12 May 2005
Posts: 355
Location: Richmond, CA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 4:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Catching Crayfish in the U.K Reply with quote

Keep it legal wrote:
It is illegal to catch Crayfish in the U.K unless you have been granted a trapping license by the environment agency.
If you get caught trapping without a licsence you will recieve a very large fine and or a possible prison sentence................
It is very irrisponsible for the author not make this clear


"Hey man, what you in for?"

"Illegal trappin' man, illegal trappin'. Caught me 50 mudbugs for dinner and instead am doing 10 to 15 in the Gray Bar Motel."

I hope it was worth it Gareth, you're such a rebel.

Biggles
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Gareth



Joined: 29 Jun 2007
Posts: 85
Location: Norwich, Norfolk, UK

PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 10:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Catching Crayfish in the U.K Reply with quote

DrBiggles wrote:
Keep it legal wrote:
It is illegal to catch Crayfish in the U.K unless you have been granted a trapping license by the environment agency.
If you get caught trapping without a licsence you will recieve a very large fine and or a possible prison sentence................
It is very irrisponsible for the author not make this clear


"Hey man, what you in for?"

"Illegal trappin' man, illegal trappin'. Caught me 50 mudbugs for dinner and instead am doing 10 to 15 in the Gray Bar Motel."

I hope it was worth it Gareth, you're such a rebel.

Biggles



Well,

I just got paroled ......... plenty of time off for good behaviour. Laughing Out Loud
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DrBiggles



Joined: 12 May 2005
Posts: 355
Location: Richmond, CA

PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 3:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Catching Crayfish in the U.K Reply with quote

Quote:
Well,

I just got paroled ......... plenty of time off for good behaviour. Laughing Out Loud


Funny you show up and reply to this. Tivo grabbed another great episode of Chef! the other day, an excellent episode if I do say so myself. Apparently Gareth had stumbled on a poacher who could supply him with partridges or some such, best quality ever. On the way back to the restaurant from picking up his near first catch, he was pulled over by the police. He was caught!

Except the policeman offered him a much lower price on the same game along with fish, cheese, pr0n ... anything he needed!

Later on, in the kitchen he was busted by the waterway police for illegal fish! He called his policeman connection and it turns out the waterway police was also a poacher/trafficker!

Priceless.

Biggles
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passing reader
Guest





PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 2:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm just passing through here, but the desire to offer my .02 was too great.

I live in Texas where we have access to nice, fat Lousiana crawfish. While I respect Gareth for his elaborate efforts, my friend, you are going way to far. Crawfish have a very simple digestive tract. It works pretty much in a straight line. Your goal is to purge that tract. We normally cook a 30lb bag of bugs at one time, so the drill is something like this: dissolve 1/2 box kosher salt in an ice chest with enough water to cover the bugs. Add the bugs and let them hang out for about 15 - 20 minutes. You will notice the water has gotten very dark and muddy. Drain and rinse the bugs very well. If you notice they are secreting mud (read poop) still, repeat the process. If the water continues to be dirty do it again. I've never done it more than 3 times. You never know how full they will be, as a lot depends on the water they are taken from. Crawfish caught below spillways are often dirtier than those in open swamp water.

You would think the heavily salted water would kill them, but they are used to brackish water. Actually, it acts as a laxitive that makes them clean as a whistle. Goodbye nasty bacteria!
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can easily remove the gut from a cooked crayfish by twisting the tail fins and then pulling them. They with come away with the whole gut attached.
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ollk



Joined: 13 Feb 2008
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Catching Crayfish in the U.K Reply with quote

Keep it legal wrote:
It is illegal to catch Crayfish in the U.K unless you have been granted a trapping license by the environment agency.


Native Crayfish yes American crayfish NO! However, it maybe illegal to use traps without a licence!
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ollk



Joined: 13 Feb 2008
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Garath, what do crayfish taste like? I cannot eat strong food generally (seafood in general makes me feel sick through taste alone!).

Also if I am to be honest I have a problem with your killing method - prefer the knife to the head option personally!
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