Home | News/Events | News | New Partnership to Tackle Invasive Crays

New Partnership to Tackle Invasive Crays

By

Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font
Signal crayfish have been rapidly invading our waterways since the 1970s... Signal crayfish have been rapidly invading our waterways since the 1970s...

The Angling Trust and Cefas today announced trials to find ways of reducing the impact of signal crayfish on English water bodies.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Source: Angling Trust

 

Cefas (the Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science) and the Angling Trust have joined forces to try and find the most effective way of reducing signal crayfish numbers and their impacts on our aquatic wildlife. The Defra-funded project is supported by an army of volunteers from angling clubs and others with an interest in the conservation of their local rivers, lakes and canals.


The volunteers will be supported by Cefas scientists who will analyse the results of the study. The aim is to produce a guide to water managers on the most efficient way of reducing signal crayfish numbers.


The study will also provide some useful insights into the challenges and opportunities posed by different angling venues, including public access and mixed-use waters.


Signal crayfish have been rapidly invading our waterways since the 1970s, predating on fish, fish eggs, invertebrates, and burrowing into banks causing them to collapse. They are the biggest threat to our native white clawed crayfish through predation, and passing on the deadly crayfish plague that they carry but against which our native species have no immunity.


The work is also being supported by the Environment Agency and Natural England with further investigations underway to look at alternative methods of control such as male sterilisation.


Environment Minister Lord de Mauley said:

“Signal crayfish are damaging our native aquatic life and eroding our riverbanks, but with volunteers and scientists working together, we will be able to identify the most effective ways of reducing the destruction they are causing to our waterways.”


Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust, said:

“One of the most common issues our members contact us about is that of non-native crayfish invading rivers, lakes and canals. They are known to damage fish stocks by eating eggs and young fish, and they can make many fishing techniques impossible because as soon as the bait hits the bottom it is grabbed by a crayfish claw. This can seriously affect the sales of angling permits and licences, which damages rural businesses that rely on anglers for income.

The Angling Trust is very keen to find a solution to this widespread issue to help protect fish stocks and fishing for the benefit of all anglers and the water environment. We all hope very much that these trials will be successful so that we can then look at expanding them to the rest of the country and bring these alien invaders under control.”







By the Same Author



Rate this article

0




Comments (7 posted):

MarkTheSpark on 04/11/2013 17:10:04
avatar
I've long thought about trapping signals for the pot. Has anyone on FM had any experience of doing this?
john step on 04/11/2013 18:54:49
avatar
Yes trap and eat them. They were brought in by the food trade I think. A concerted effort to market them to the public might make them a fashion food and a sought after commodity and reduce the numbers drastically. Or am I being simplistic?
S-Kippy on 04/11/2013 19:23:07
avatar
Yes trap and eat them. They were brought in by the food trade I think. A concerted effort to market them to the public might make them a fashion food and a sought after commodity and reduce the numbers drastically. Or am I being simplistic? Dont know John...but there are places I know [and used to fish but dont anymore] where there are so many you'd need a crane to lift any trap out. I seriously doubt trapping would have any noticeable,sustained impact. I've read a few studies etc and it seems the damned things are almost impossible to kill. You can poison them but in order to get the signals you kill everything else too which is kind of missing the point.The only thing that appears to have had any degree of success is male sterlisation....trap the big males,zap their nuts & return them. Should have jumped on these things years ago before they got established. I fear it is too late now.
Chris Hammond ( RSPB ACA PAC} on 04/11/2013 19:46:09
avatar
I've long thought about trapping signals for the pot. Has anyone on FM had any experience of doing this? I trap them now and then but to be honest Mark, for my money, the hassle in preparing them to eat makes it a bit of a chore. I'm not sure the rewards justify the effort tbh. I reckon you need thirty or forty good sized crays per person for a decent meal. That's a lot of de-shelling and claw busting. I tried applying for a licence in order to keep it legal but found out that the EA expect you to apply for a licence on each and every occasion that you intend trapping. And the licence is date specific. So frankly I don't bother. ---------- Post added at 19:46 ---------- Previous post was at 19:43 ---------- Dont know John...but there are places I know [and used to fish but dont anymore] where there are so many you'd need a crane to lift any trap out. I seriously doubt trapping would have any noticeable,sustained impact. I've read a few studies etc and it seems the damned things are almost impossible to kill. You can poison them but in order to get the signals you kill everything else too which is kind of missing the point.The only thing that appears to have had any degree of success is male sterlisation....trap the big males,zap their nuts & return them. Should have jumped on these things years ago before they got established. I fear it is too late now. A couple of years back a local trout club trapped 120,000 from a relatively small beat on a pretty small river. Within a few months you could trap as many as before their operation from there. :(
Paul Boote on 04/11/2013 22:39:18
avatar
They are a chore ("E-e-e-u-w, urgh, shells, they'll ruin my nailjob...."), but the curried and barbecued Signal tails that I had at a Thames-side garden party only a very few years ago left me thinking "Trap and eat the lot of them ... it's the least we can do....".
daji on 04/11/2013 22:58:03
avatar
Send in the Otters!! oh wait, they have :wh
Paul Boote on 04/11/2013 23:01:21
avatar
Otters (in fashion parlance), not the New Black, but the New Eels. I think we're going to need them.


Add a comment

  • Email to a friend Email to a friend
  • Print version Print version
  • Plain text Plain text

Tagged as:

angling trust, Cefas, signal crayfish

Follow FishingMagic!