Crayfish locations!?

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Full Member
Nov 10, 2003
my mate's never had any hassle at all, it's a pretty quite area really.

wait til it's born mate, you'll be glad of the excuse to get away for a night then! if you fancy a wander round one day to try the trap out midweek suits me fine. any day apart from monday, let me know when you're off work and we'll arrange something.

with a mixture of public footpaths, roads, and maybe a smidgeon of fence hopping you can get round ogston pretty close up to the waterside all the way round. i'll find the relevant OS map and have a look see what likely looking spots i can find.


Oct 6, 2008
Nice one Stu,
I'm off work from Sun for 3 weeks(ish) so I reckon we could get out soon. I bought a trap from e-bay so not entirely sure how good it is but hey...lets give it a go eh? This will be my first time of grabbing food from the country so I'm looking forward to it! (well...apart from the old blackberroes for jam and elderflower for cordial!)


Full Member
Nov 10, 2003
i've got a funeral to go to on monday mick, but i think i'm free all week apart from that
just remembered, i'm busy tuesday as well. rest of the week's free though



Aug 21, 2007
tenderfoot i never thought of that about the recruitment of future years if all the big ones are killed and eaten then you could end up with a huge population of small crayfish which would be more devestating to the environment.

This thing at loch ken is with the crayfish is a huge problem its is a ecological disaster, it will change everything about the loch, the bank errosion, fish population etc

I have read about pike in that harvesting bigger pike can over 4 spawning cycles totally change the population where it becomes over populated by smaller fish, wonder if this relates to the crayfish as well!!!!!!!!!!!!

Everything Mac

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Nov 30, 2009
so how exactly does one legally catch them then?

seems all very confusing to me.

im sure i read once that they like chalky streams though i couldnt tell you why etc.



Oct 9, 2009
I looked into this a few years back so any legal information might be out of date - check with the EA if in doubt.

An attended drop net is perfectly legal - I once took 19 out of a Kennet carrier in half an hour with a single drop net and a bit of rather high rainbow trout as bait.

I remain to be convinced about leaving them to get on with it - there aren't any stable populations in the UK on which to base a reliable hypothesis - increased predation of the little ones by the big ones encourages the little ones to move elsewhere and colonize new areas in just the same way as pressure of numbers does. However, a fully grown signal cray has no natural predator in the UK - they get to 30cms or a foot long. The juveniles and smaller crays are eaten by fish and are less able to evict water voles from their burrows as the large ones do, so there's an argument for keeping a signal crayfish population small instead of large just as there is for keeping them large instead of small.

Things to make sure of:
1) Identification! - only take signal or turkish (narrow claw) crayfish. Whiteclaws are protected and the fines for 'interfering with them' are prodigious. The other species in the UK (Noble, Spiny cheeked and Red Swamp crayfish) you're unlikely to come across and also bear the strongest resemblance to the natives (Red Swamp excepted - they look like nothing else on Earth) by not taking them or catching crays where they're in evidence you're less likely to do something silly. Don't fish for crayfish anywhere where white claws are know to still exist - they're in serious jeopardy and need as little interference as possible.

2) If you're fishing several different locations, make sure you dry your equipment thoroughly (at least two days for a net in a warm place - no, the unheated garage in winter isn't warm enough) Aquatic diseases are normally killed by being thoroughly dried out - crayfish plague spores certainly are.

3) It's illegal to release non-native crayfish back into the wild after capture - if they're captured then they must be killed. It's also illegal to keep them, outside of the areas for which there is licence exemption, for more than 72 hours if they're being kept for personal consumption.

4) Unattended nets / traps are likely to be classed by the EA as a 'fixed engine' and you need a licence to use those in fresh water - again the fines are prodigious.

5) Whatever you do don't be tempted to 'seed' an area with signals or any other crays. The habitat destruction has to be seen to be believed and while you might get an occasional crayfish starter out of it, you'll lose more or less everything else in a water, right down to the reeds when they get hungry enough. The Serpentine in London is stuffed full of Turkish (if memory serves) crays - there used to be a couple of blokes with the licence to trap it and they'd take a couple of hundred weight a day out and it would just keep the numbers level. There's just about nothing else in there now though - not even weed.

Link to the EA:

Hope that helps someone,
The following relates to Scotland

You don't need a licence to catch Signal Crayfish but you need a licence to transport them. That even means taking them away from the site found so in theory you could be charged if you take them home to eat. The problem arises because of the females eggs and the risk of them falling off transported animals.

Scotland does NOT have the Native Crayfish (there is a small intoduced population in the far north)

Worth bearing in mind that you also need a licence to remove Japanese Knotweed, even if taking home for dinner!
It is illegal to catch crayfish in scotland as well, as you do need a licence and always have done, you must kill all crayfish that are "accidentally caught".
I know where you are coming from with that Johnny and I realise I didn't word my post particularly well in relation to licences for catching non native crayfish in Scotland.

An order made under the Import of Live Fish (Scotland) Act 1978 makes it an offence to keep or release non-native crayfish. This means that it is / would be an offence to trap non-native crayfish without a license (as they would then be in a persons possession).

However licenses are not as a rule provided for this purpose and illegal harvesting is one of the main causes of spread of crayfish. The problem legally and ecologically with people trapping and eating crayfish is that some then think it's a good idea to introduce them to new ponds and streams so that they can do the same!

Sadly even among our own community not everyone has ecological morals.


Hello all. I know this is an old thread now but Crayfish is something im interested in fishing at some point.

I came across this map elsewhere:

This map shows vague locations which I guess can be used to tally up with an OS map, but having read about them they apparently prefer chalky streams. There is one area I want to go and have a go at fishing in Avebury. I go to Avebury all the time and I hear the local river the Kennet is teeming with them. :)


Dec 10, 2009
defra website says you only need a license to keep or release crayfish not to trap them i think you need to ask the EA for permission to trap in a certain area and they'll check if there's native species there or not. its actually illegal to let any non-native species that you may have caught go back into the wild, including birds and mammals.

hedgerow pete

Need to contact Admin...
Jan 10, 2010
smethwick , west midlands
its not illegeal to catch only to release them unless they are naturals

best sites for finding them are , canals yep they are loaded with them here in brum, go to any fishing lake pond gravel pit and ask the owner/balliff if there are any which there normaly is they will rip your arm off to hunt them as they are a pest to them, where i used to go fishing we used to fish all day with a couple of cray traps set out as well, the only rule we were ever told was once it came out it never went back in alive ,:)dead is dead


New Member
Feb 13, 2016
Hi folks,

I've searched quite a few bits about crayfish, in relation to trapping them, and although there's a lot of discussion about licences etc I would appreciate any tips on where I could find some? I'm from Derbyshire (Chesterfield way) so would like to find somewhere local where they're a problem and I could set a trap for them.

Thanks in advance


Link above for FREE license