So as "true" Southerner you say taking the tails off and the mud vein out will produce good quality fare OK I'm gonna try it as I'm a life long west coaster who knew nothing of eating the little buggers while growing up.I was raised eating crawfish in Louisiana and always boiled them alive. A decade or so ago I found out how to harvest and transport them legally in Utah. Twist the tails off then on the end of the tail twist the center fin and pull out the mud veins, then put them on ice immediately. Take um home and boil in crab boil with potatoes and corn. Can't beat them. Kevin how did you ever get out of Kentucky without liking crawfish.lol
Unfortunately due to the regs in Utah the only option you have is to twist the tails off and put them on ice in order to transport them away from the lake if you don't want to cook them on site.I've been told by the Utah DNR guy from that lake that they can't leave the lake alive.
I can get full of just the Mudbugs ! But I love the corn Potatoes, onions and sausage we add for sure !! After we fed about 16 people at the last crawdad bash we did last summer. We did over 3 5 gallon buckets full of whole Crawfish. I took PART of the leftover crawfish and the next morning I sat at the table and peeled the tails. I ended up with 2 1/2 pounds of cleaned peeled tail meet. I froze them in Vac bags and we make fettuccini, and or "lobster"/ Crawdad rolls with them, very yummy. When you have had a lot of practice and know the techniques you can peel them pretty fast. I took me just under and hour to get the 2.5 lbs of tail meat. I boil up the carcasses covered in water and make crawfish stock to use when cooking up Cajun or seafood dishes.
I don't think the putting in saltwater would qualify as them not being alive. I would think you could put them back in fresh water after while and they would still live. It would probably depend on how much salt in the water. Crawfish live in brackish water in some parts of the south. Also the cleaning them out by putting them in salt water is actually a myth, I had been told by a great old man I knew from the south that is how you clean them out. I have tried it a few times and did not get any results. Since then I have read several studies by university of Louisiana that it is a myth and does not work. Best way is to hold them in clean oxygenated water for a few days. Pretty hard to do. I think some commercial places do that before they ship them so they are clean.I place mine in salt water for the trip home. It cleans them out and they are generally freshly dead by the time I get home. There is the letter of the law and the spirt of the law. In both Utah and Colorado, the dwr folks are really level headed. Most of them have biology degrees. If they are in salt water they are going to die, in a matter of about eight hours. I would take that one to the jury. There is one little twit at willard, who if he ever becomes a street cop, will be given a very quick attitude adjustment by his local neighborhood gangsters. Dignity and respect, everyone is human.