Many of Utah’s lakes contain crayfish which are fun to harvest and great to eat. Crayfish, or crawdads, are generally used boils or in dips, cocktails, and even eaten alone much like you would eat shrimp, crab, or lobster. There are many recipes found on the internet for consuming crayfish, but how do you catch them?
Crayfish prefer clean water and rocky lake bottoms. They are commonly found in many of our lower elevation lakes. Some of our favorite places to harvest crayfish include: Deer Creek Reservoir, Lost Creek Reservoir and Flaming George Reservoir.
Look for crayfish in shallow water with rocky bottoms. Once you find them they are easy to catch and you don’t even need fishing hooks. You can purchase crayfish traps and bait them with meat. Simply put the traps in the water and wait for them to fill up. For a more hands on fishing experience you can tie a piece of meat or non-game fish to a string and lift the crayfish out of the water and into you bucket as they start to eat your bait. It is not uncommon to catch 20-30 crayfish in about an hour so this can be a fun fishing experience for kids. Keep in mind that Crayfish do have claws much like a crab so watch your fingers as they will pinch.
Consult your local sporting goods store and the 2015 Utah fishing population for more information on how and where you can harvest crayfish in Utah.
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We Fish Utah Staff