When is Crawfish Season Open to the Public?

Question: My family is planning a large crayfish cookout and I want to schedule it according to the season of crawfish. When is the best time of year to get them to where they have the best meat and the cheapest price. This will be a huge party and this is a huge variable because I’m cooking it all. We need the best turnout available for the crawdads.


*Awarded Answer
Jason Kervon Posted:
The best time of year is around April. You will find the biggest and most juicy crawdads you could think of. What happens is all of the adults are on a rampage to breed and your not going to catch babies because they aren’t born yet. What you catch at this time of year will all be adults. These have the most meat on then and will be pretty juicy with all the new spring feeding going on. Our family has always been big on Crawdad boils too. We all get together and cook them a certain way every year.

As far as buying crawdads, the farther outside of this ‘peak’ season… the more you will pay. Buying crayfish usually averages out to $1.50 – $3.00 a pound. The closer to the peak of the season the cheaper they will cost. Not only will they be cheaper but they will also taste a lot better and hold more meat on them. It’s just one of those things with the economy of it going in and out of season. Fruits and vegetables commonly do this as well too. Our family has learned that we can’t afford to eat crawdads in the winter so we are only spring time feeders.

crawdad trapFor the best taste, you should wash the crayfish in buckets of saltwater. Just swish the water around a tiny bit and the salt in the water really helps to clean them. Continue to switch pots of saltwater until the water is clear when you rinse them. That’s how you know when they are clean. It takes a lot of extra work but a lot of people skip this step and it’s an absolute game changer. Also make sure to throw away any of them that are not alive right before you put them in boiling water. As soon as they die… something funky happens to the meat.

Posted by Kevin E:
I’m fairly certain that the best time to go out and find them in the rivers is going to be early spring time as soon as the ice gets off of the water. And if you live in an area where ice doesn’t come off of water then just try to get in to the early spring and set some traps but if you’re looking for a legal answer is far as the DNR goes I’m not really sure about that. I live in Montana so I don’t really they do not regulate the crustaceans around here’s far as catching them and live game.

Posted by Mason R:
I’m fairly certain that you can catch these whenever you want all your long as long as you are ethical about it because we don’t need you devastating the entire population. If you’re trying to run a small business and sell the stuff of that might be a different story if it’s on a personal scale I want worry too much. I do know that one crustaceans breed and have their new young that there is thousands of them and at the rate that they reproduce it’s very high. So I wouldn’t think you have to worry too much about devastating the population.

Posted by Brandy B:
My family has a husband catch one meal worth around every 2 weeks. We have never purchased a license or any sort of tag to be able to do this and we have been fine and we’ve even seen the DNR while doing it. What you should do is call your local state office and ask for the DNR hotline and you can call and get some information or else you can visit your sportsman guide store and they will give you a free literature regulations on the state laws.

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Can I Save Money by Trapping Crawdads?

Question: Would it be worth my time to learn how to trap crawdads instead of buying them? My dad seems to think I could save money doing it that way. Looking for some educated advise on this idea. Hopefully it’s not too stupid of a question. Thanks for your time.

*Awarded Answer
Christine Moeri Posted:
It is a great idea to trap crayfish and save money. Once you have the trap setup and bought, the amount of crayfish you catch could be limitless. For each that you have to purchase and buy… could be just free that you catch in your trap. I have found that making a trap isn’t that tough. That’s even another way to save money.

You could argue that the bait might cost you some money but you can get creative with this as well. I know a lot of people that use chicken guts that they get for free or just use a dead fish that they caught the day before. If you like crayfish for eating, you can easily setup a system in place and get lots of crawdads for super cheap. Our family goes through tons of them and we have family get together a known as “boils.”

Best Way to Cook Crawdads?

Answer: The best way to cook crawdads is a basic boil. This method is been used for decades and it still works the best. What you’re going to want to do is rinse the crayfish in pots of water was solved a couple of times until the water clarity is clear. Just change the pots of water and after you have clear water water… that means the crayfish and their bodies are clean. The salt in the water helps to clean a lot of the bacteria.

Once you’ve cleaned outside of their bodies what you want to do is make sure they are still alive prior to putting them in the boiling water. Is guaranteed for the best taste because crustaceans have a tendency to taste funny once they die. The meat inside of their bodies is known to get somewhat spongy as soon as the body and organ shutdown.

Let them boil for a certain amount of time around 10 minutes and there you have it you have now cooked a beautiful crayfish. Enjoy your meal and continue to love crustaceans.

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