Mussels and Crayfish

#1
Hey Wayne, moving the houseboat in Knowles Canyon the other day because of falling water my grandson called me over to look at a crayfish that was working like heck to get at the meat in a mussel. He finally made it and discarded the shell. Couldn't tell if it got all the mussel out but it had a good sized chunk when it let go of the shell. Is this the norm? If so hooray for crayfish, those shores where the water has come down from last year are covered with the shells.
 

wayne gustaveson

Moderator
Staff member
#2
Hey Wayne, moving the houseboat in Knowles Canyon the other day because of falling water my grandson called me over to look at a crayfish that was working like heck to get at the meat in a mussel. He finally made it and discarded the shell. Couldn't tell if it got all the mussel out but it had a good sized chunk when it let go of the shell. Is this the norm? If so hooray for crayfish, those shores where the water has come down from last year are covered with the shells.
Thanks so much for that report. Its hard to get crayfish samples because they are really nervous to crawl out from under their rock and come out in the open. Fish REALLY like them. We will catalog your report and those from anyone else that has any run-ins with crayfish and mussels. We thought that would be the case but its nice to have confirmation. A strong crayfish population would be important to the bass fishery in the mussel infested lake.
 

Meatwagon

Well-Known Member
#3
I have been wondering if this had anything to do with the condition of the smallmouth this year. An unlimited food source for the crayfish I think should help there population and create an increase in the bass's food source. It would sure be nice to see the smallies rival those of the great Lakes some day.
 
#6
For about the last few years we have been seeing crayfish again at the lake, there were a few years there that the only ones we saw came out of fish stomachs. There has certainly been an increase in the quality, size, of fish in the last year or two. Maybe Wayne's "dadblamed stripers" are getting a lot of competion.lol I wold rather catch one good bass than 10 stripers, that's just me. There are others that really go like to fish for the stripers, my hat is off to them as everyone has preferences. My 7 year old granddaughters really enjoyed catching stripers this summer so there is some good in all of the fishing.
 
#8
That is great the thought of crayfish eating the mussels had not even crossed my mind. No wonder the crayfish seemed stronger this year. For the first time at Powell, I have started catching fish with bellies full of them (not just the OCCASIONAL 1 or 2)....I wonder if there is a way to raise/farm the crayfish and plant them into the lake to help keep the mussel population down or would the bass just eat them all up before they could make a difference? If so, we would probably see an increase in size of fish at Powell, so either way it seems like a plus to me and worth a try.

What do you think Wayne? If you need a crayfish farmer to give it a test run, let me know ;)
 

wayne gustaveson

Moderator
Staff member
#9
That is great the thought of crayfish eating the mussels had not even crossed my mind. No wonder the crayfish seemed stronger this year. For the first time at Powell, I have started catching fish with bellies full of them (not just the OCCASIONAL 1 or 2)....I wonder if there is a way to raise/farm the crayfish and plant them into the lake to help keep the mussel population down or would the bass just eat them all up before they could make a difference? If so, we would probably see an increase in size of fish at Powell, so either way it seems like a plus to me and worth a try.

What do you think Wayne? If you need a crayfish farmer to give it a test run, let me know ;)
Lets watch them for a while. This is a positive change which has a positive impact on many fish species. The species of crayfish in Lake Powell is the best one possible so lets give it a chance to rise to record numbers and see what happens.

Due to the information just provided I will reinstitute crayfish sampling in lake Powell. My previous result was getting 2 crayfish in one trap when checked right after dark. An hour later I looked again but they both got away. I will do that better this time.
 
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