Crayfish problem highlighted in the Herald!

My Goodness- two posts in a day – you guys must be reeling.

Anyway – I got into work this morning and recieved a text from my boss telling me I was in the Herald. Thinking “what have they found out about me”  after all now Tommy Sheridan is out the spotlight the media must now have to target other innocent folk. #smile#

Signal Crayfish

Anyway – I bought the paper and it turns out the Herald have done a rather nice write up about the Signal Crayfish issue as well (better than the BBC)  – and who is that chap rigged out in fly fishing gear with a serious dose of the “not having the scooby” – that’s right – me!

Anyway – two articles and not one mentioned Willie Yeomans .

Here is an abridged version of the Herald article.

Any talk of wide angle lenses and “fat filters” will be severely moderated.

If you enjoy researching about Crayfish you will find these books from Amazon very worthwhile:

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[amazon_image id=”9054104694″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Crayfish in Europe as Alien Species: How to Make the Best of a Bad Situation? (Crustacean Issues)[/amazon_image]


  1. Campbell S · November 26, 2010

    Maybe Willie can chime in here and put me out my misery. I find it interesting that there is all this panic about the Crayfish eating fish and fish eggs and there are no natural predators in our ecosystem to eat these. Surely Otters and fish will eat them or am I wrong?

    This interest me because brown trout are not native to the streams of the United States (aaaaarrgggh Invasive Species!!!, but the crayfish and brown trout can live in harmony. The Crayfish do not eat all the trout eggs as they reproduce year after year in these streams and bigger trout feed on crayfish, so surely, smaller trout can feed on the smaller Crays, right? I know this is probably an over simplified version of the situation, but why is it an issue here and not apparently in the States?

  2. Alex · November 26, 2010

    I heard an interview with Paul Reid and someone from SNH on Radio Scotland this morning. It is a concern, and a damn shame that someone could be so irresponsible.
    They have been in the upper Clyde for a number of years, but I don’t think they have as big an impact as some of the ‘fishers’ I see there from time to time.

    Only time will tell. Only thing for sure is that they are very difficult to erradicate.

    Campbell – trout certainly do eat crayfish. Who knows, maybe in a few years the Kelvin will harbour numbers of monster trout!

  3. Squigster · November 26, 2010

    Mr Palwatery ties a nice Crayfish imatation….

  4. Paul R · November 26, 2010

    In the states there are factors that keep the ASC in check, but over here there are less. Otters and fish will do their bit to eat them up but what we can see from other populations in the UK is that this is not enough to stop them spreading. I know some of the reports do seem a bit drastic, but it’s only because we don’t know just how bad the situation could get. Experience from other relatively harmless alien introductions (I’m thinking rabbits and cane toads) shows that any species out of place can have devistating effects. ASC can have a direct effect on fish stocks by eating eggs/juveniles and competing for cover, but the real worry is what effect they will have on the overall ecology of the river. If they hoover up all the inverts etc. then it could screw up the whole cycle. Nae food = nae fish/otters/kingfishers etc.

  5. Campbell S · November 26, 2010

    Paul fair point, but lets face it, what predator eats everything so that it brings it’s own demise other than man? “Nae food” also means nae crayfish!

    If left alone long enough maybe they will equilibrate, then again maybe not.

  6. willie yeomans · November 26, 2010

    Gutted! They interviewed a couple of chancers (neither of whom has seen a Kelvin crayfish!) and, to top the lot, they illustrate the article with a photo of the big man in his fishing duds!! It’s downhill from here…..Didn’t see the BBC thing but The Herald article was fair enough. There’s always the odd mistake but you can’t assume that the journalists are as retentive as us biologists. Not too sure about the emphasis on the culinary brigade but a pretty good effort by all concerned I thought.

    Re. the predator thing. Sure, there are otters but otters are territorial and they have territories miles long. They’re not going to be hungry enough or lucky enough to extirpate the crayfish. It’s a great shame that we’re having to deal with this now and I’m pretty sure that if the crayfish were introduced deliberately it will come out eventually. Then life will get interesting for some of us….

  7. Rob · November 26, 2010

    Some very good points, pro & con. As an American fisher, I’ll tell you here, crayfish are a good sign of a healthy river. Trout gobble them up and in my misguided youth, as a bait fisher, nothing took a big resident trout or steelhead as well as a live, soft shelled (recently molted) “crawdad”. Nowadays, a Crayfly is my weapon of choice if there’s no hatch on my favorite wild Brown water.

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