View Full Version : unknown crayfish

08-18-2010, 12:14 PM
i grew up in ohio, always caught local crays in streams and creeks,,, and ate them often..
so, since i built my system this spring, i've put in about 5 dozen crayfish, the first 2 dozen came from the guy i got my hybrid bluegill from - he just said they were "soft-shell crays" but a hard shell got in there too.. i thought all cray's got a soft shell when they molted, but this could be something different..
anyways, i also added a couple dozen i got from the bait store..
last week when i was cleaning out my tank, i thought i saw a couple of crays fighting,, but thought it looked like an odd position, basically they were in the missionary position.. i googled images for crayfish mating, and thats what they were doing..
haven't had time to look up more info, but was wondering when there might be babies in there,,, i don't think they'd last long with the perch and bluegill though... but, the whole point of this is, that i got the crays because i want to eat some, and figured if they did breed, it would be more food for the fish.. glad that worked even if i have less fish than i started with (still not sure what happened to them)

08-18-2010, 04:02 PM
He may be talking about "paper shell" rather than soft shell. A common farmed crayfish in Ohio is O. immunis. Probably that. You are right about soft shells, they are freshly molted.

Crays mate a lot, and even more when it cools off in the fall. Typically the ones in your neck of the woods won't berry until it grops below 40F water temperature for a few weeks. They would carry the eggs all winter and hatch in the spring.

To do the process artificially you would find berried females and slowly bring the water temps up into the 60's over a period of a week or so, just a couple of degrees a day. Adjusting the photo period from winter to spring over the same time helps. A jurry rigged chest freezer works nicely for this. They sell external thermostats for freezers to make lager beers that works great for this.