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Seriously, Crayfish

A couple weeks ago I had a little fun with a story I read about researchers getting crayfish drunk, And Now Even Our Crayfish Are Drunk!  Sometimes I wonder if anyone appreciates my pointy-headed sense of humor?  Previously in my blog, I have warned that fish biologist types tend to be a little warped.

Hey, I resemble that remark!

Then I got to thinking, there is some serious crayfish biology I can tell you about, should tell you about . . .

One of our biologists here at the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission, Steve Schainost, put together THE bible on Nebraska crayfish, The Crayfish of Nebraska.

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That publication is the complete scientific description and guide to Nebraska’s crayfish species.  Follow the link, take a few minutes to page through, and you will be amazed at the knowledge contained there.  Steve knows his stuff inside and out, and spent a lot of time putting this publication together.

Now I know some of you are thinking, “OK Mr. Fish Biologist (really, you do not have to call me “mister”), so what?  It looks too much like a college textbook.”  Yes, that is true, and for many, unless you have a deep interest in crayfish, you ain’t gonna care.  But, I also know there are a few reading this who are serious, hard-core anglers, and as one who fancies himself as a bit of an angler, I know that ole Buck Perry himself said that “knowledge is the key to success”.

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Many of the species of fish we pursue, black bass in particular, like to eat crayfish.  Stroll through the aisles of your local tackle shop and I am betting you can find a least a few artificial baits that imitate crayfish and you might even find live crayfish in the bait tanks.  Suppose the more you know about crayfish, the more you might be able to apply to finding and catching fish?  I know at least a few of you think that way because from time to time I get some very in-depth questioning about crayfish.

So, here it is, the answers to all your crayfish questions.  Pay special attention to the section on the role of crayfish in aquatic communities and information for each individual species on habitats, behavior, reproduction, interactions, etc.  Oh, I know how obsessed some anglers can be about colors of their baits and lures; there are some comments throughout the guide on the natural colors of crayfish in the wild.

Unfortunately, there are sections and descriptions of exotic, unwanted species of crayfish in Nebraska too.  The more folks we have aware of Aquatic Invasive Species, even crayfish, the more we can keep an eye out for them and hopefully prevent their spread.

There will be no test, no quizzes, but I dare ya, spend some time reading The Crayfish of Nebraska.  Who knows what you might learn?  Who knows how many more fish you might catch because of it?

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Meme a friend shared with me after my “drunken crayfish” post. Thanks Larry!

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About daryl bauer

Daryl is a lifelong resident of Nebraska (except for a couple of years spent going to graduate school in South Dakota). He has been employed as a fisheries biologist for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for 25 years, and his current tour of duty is as the fisheries outreach program manager. Daryl loves to share his educational knowledge and is an avid multi-species angler. He holds more than 120 Nebraska Master Angler Awards for 14 different species and holds more than 30 In-Fisherman Master Angler Awards for eight different species. He loves to talk fishing and answer questions about fishing in Nebraska, be sure to check out his blog at outdoornebraska.org.

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