How and where to catch Crayfish in Alberta

Catching Crayfish
Crayfish in Lacombe Park trout pond, Alberta

Fishing Techniques:
Just tie a line and a bait to an ice fishing pole or even a twig. Baits can be bacon, sausage, and even dog food. Or, you can use a bait trap to catch them.

Regulations:
According to 2015 Alberta Sport Fishing Regulations, crayfish cannot be used as bait fish and it is unlawful to possess live crayfish.

“Crayfish are native to the Beaver River system. However, they appear to have been illegally introduced into many Alberta waters and may be adversely affecting aquatic ecosystems.”

Crayfish Lacombe Park
People enjoy catching crayfish at the trout pond in Lacombe Park, Alberta

“Some people have expressed a desire to consume crayfish. In all waters other than the Beaver River, people may catch crayfish for consumption. Legal capture methods include angling (sport fishing regulations apply) or catching them by hand. No licence is required to capture crayfish by hand. The retention and transport of live crayfish is illegal and all retained crayfish must be immediately killed to prevent the spread of this species. Please help prevent the spread of invasive species.”

Locations crayfish have been found in Alberta:
North Saskatchewan River; Peace River; the trout pond in Lacombe Park; Cardiff pond near Morinville; Heritage Lake; Nose Creek; Rotary Park pond; and other places. Crayfish can be caught close to shore as they usually live under rocks or other structures.

Further readings:
http://forum.nlft.org/index.php?showtopic=658

http://esrd.alberta.ca/fish-wildlife/fisheries-management/documents/InvasiveAquaticSpeciesInAlberta2007A.pdf

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