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Great Plains Connections with Julie Geiser – Collecting crawdads

The crawdad – or commonly known as the crayfish, crawfish or mudbugs are smaller versions of lobsters and they taste just as good, only in a smaller package. Collecting crawdads, as I have called them since childhood, is an easy process if you know when and where to find them.

Every fall the canal system waters in southwest Nebraska are lowered for water conservation and/or canal repairs – leaving a smorgasbord of crawdads that can be harvested for a tasty meal.

Driving along the canal, crawdad connoisseurs will be looking for holes that still contain water – this is where crawdads may be found.

Look for water holes left in the drained canal.

Equipment used to gather crawdads is simple; a net with small holes, waders or hip boots and a five gallon bucket.


Once a water hole is located crawdads will be easy to see – usually there are so many that they line the water and rocks of the drained canal as shown in the feature photo.

In good water holes filling a bucket takes only minutes.

When the collecting is done, it’s home to prepare the crawdads and enjoy.

For the rest of this story you’ll either have to do some research on your own or wait and read all my tips for gathering, cooking and eating crawdads in NEBRASKAland Magazine. I know, I know – that is quite a way to end this blog, but hey, maybe I’ll get you hooked into reading these blogs so you can learn more about what we have to offer on this site!

Yummy! Dig in and enjoy!

About julie geiser

Julie Geiser is a Public Information Officer and NEBRASKAland Regional Editor based out of North Platte, where she was born and still happily resides. Geiser worked for the commission previously for over 10 years as an outdoor education instructor – teaching people of all ages about Nebraska’s outdoor offerings. She also coordinates the Becoming an Outdoors Woman program for Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC). Geiser went on to work in marketing and writing an outdoor column for the North Platte Telegraph before returning to NGPC in her current position. She loves spending time outdoors with her family and getting others involved in her passions of hunting, fishing, camping, boating, hiking and enjoying Nebraska’s great outdoors.

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