Crayfish/Crawfish – Louisiana
Crayfish (or crawfish) are found and caught worldwide in freshwater swamps, marshes and slow flowing rivers. They are short-lived and fast growing animals. This report evaluates the wild caught crayfish fishery in Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Basin using baited crayfish traps.
The abundance and fishing level of crayfish in the Atchafalaya Basin is unknown, since no population assessments have been conducted. Abundance of crayfish appears to be sensitive to environmental variation, particularly the flood regime and water levels in the rivers and swamps in which they live. The traps used to catch crayfish are moderately selective, but other invertebrates or small fishes could be caught. However, it is likely that most of the non-target catch is released unharmed.
This fishery is managed by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, but few management regulations have been put in place. The fishery is small and has a moderate impact on the habitat and ecosystem.