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How to catch & cook crayfish in BC

a close up of an animal

A really fun summer activity around streams and lakes in the Pacific Northwest. Signal Crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus) are large (up to 16cm nose to tail) and tasty, I like them better than lobster actually. Northern Crayfish (Faxonius virilis) is another species of crayfish that has been found in the Kootenays mainly. Crayfish are almost too easy to catch. They must be minimum 9cm from tail to nose and don’t take more than 25 male adults in BC. Also leave the native specie females with any eggs under their tails so that they can reproduce as locals have noted a drop in their numbers over the years. Make sure the water quality in the area is really good too as if you are near farmed areas any pesticides/fertilizer can make you sick. You can call them crayfish, crawfish or crawdads for a common name, just depends on where you are from as to what you call them. Learning how to catch crayfish is pretty simple, check out the video below for info.  If you want to learn more about plant or mushroom foraging in the Pacific Northwest check out our courses or sea foraging field trips.

I just fried some slices of garlic up in butter and removed the garlic so it wouldn’t burn, then I split the tails in half and crushed the claws lightly with a hammer and fried those until the flesh was white.  This method is much tastier than boiling them in water as you lose all the flavour to the water.