Crayfish

dragoncjo

Piney
Aug 12, 2005
1,354
94
1,028
37
camden county
Question, are crayfish common in pine barrens? I saw a instagram post of one in pines and I never thought of them being around. I do recall otter scat with signs of them in cumberland.
 

manumuskin

Piney
Jul 20, 2003
7,423
1,498
1,093
55
millville nj
www.youtube.com
I personally have seen only one Crawdad in NJ and it was one of the biggest ones i ever saw.This was in laurel lake in the 70"s.I was about 11.Here is some info from a scientist that sent it to me.Apparently there are several species here.

Six crayfish have been reported from NJ, four native, two non-native. Natives: common crayfish (Cambarus bartonii bartonii), chimney crayfish (Cambarus diogenes), spinycheek crayfish (Orconectes limosus), White River crayfish (Procambarus acutus acutus; previously included in a broadly circumscribed P. blandingii blandingii). Non-natives: rusty crayfish (Orconectes rusticus), virile crayfish (Orconectes virilis). The distribution information on these for the state is a bit spotty but Cambarus diogenes and Procambarus acutus acutus definitely occur in the Pinelands. Cambarus diogenes typically occurs in muddy areas, such as intermittent ponds, where it forms the characteristic “chimneys”. Procambarus acutus acutus can be found in streams and ponds in the Pinelands; material of this species is taxonomically complex and the NJ material has gone under multiple names. Regarding the other two native crayfish species, Orconectes limosus appears to be chiefly limited to North Jersey and in South Jersey along the Delaware, although it may reach the outer fringes of the Pinelands and Cambarus bartonii bartonii is chiefly in North Jersey barely reaching the Coastal Plain of South Jersey (see map in Francois 1959). I don’t know anything about the NJ distributions of the two non-native species. Sources: Francois, D.D. 1959. The crayfishes of New Jersey. Ohio J. Sci. 59(2): 108-127; Hobbs, H. H. Jr. An illustrated checklist of the American crayfishes (Decapoda: Astacidae, Cambaridae, and Paratacidae). Smithsonian Contrib. Zool. 480. 1989.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jersey Jeff

manumuskin

Piney
Jul 20, 2003
7,423
1,498
1,093
55
millville nj
www.youtube.com
I tried to catch the one in the lake but instead of allowing me to herd him into shallow water where i could smack him out onto dry land he headed for deeper water.He was in about two feet of water when i seen Him.I often will smash the small ones flat with my hand and then reach under and get them but this guy was bigger then my 11 year old hand and he was ready to fight and being in the water he could turn faster then I could flank Him and i wasn't willing to offer him a finger to get him out of the water.
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
11,214
1,909
1,093
Pines; Bamber area
I tried to catch the one in the lake but instead of allowing me to herd him into shallow water where i could smack him out onto dry land he headed for deeper water.He was in about two feet of water when i seen Him.I often will smash the small ones flat with my hand and then reach under and get them but this guy was bigger then my 11 year old hand and he was ready to fight and being in the water he could turn faster then I could flank Him and i wasn't willing to offer him a finger to get him out of the water.
Ha! Sounds like some yokel had recently let a lobster loose.
 
  • Like
Reactions: manumuskin

Jersey Jeff

Explorer
Jun 22, 2012
147
28
28
Lots of rusty crayfish in the lakes in North Jersey. They actually leave the lake and walk around on dry land, which freaks people out. I've found them 500 yds from the nearest lake!!!
 
  • Like
Reactions: manumuskin

Toothy Critter

Explorer
Sep 16, 2016
338
218
43
68
Winfield
They are in the Pines Crayfish can tolerate the acidic waters and like catfish can survive droughts by burrowing into the ground. Hard to find unless you are willing to pick up submerged trees.
 

manumuskin

Piney
Jul 20, 2003
7,423
1,498
1,093
55
millville nj
www.youtube.com
Might be worth looking at night.I almost always find them in the mountains under rocks so I bet anything their nocturnal.I have seen very few not under cover in the day time.
One exception being the monster in Laurel Lake
 

Tanton

New Member
Apr 25, 2010
4
6
3
As kids we used to find at least a few every year (mid "60's into the mid "90's). Our house was at the end of a cove on Taunton Lake (edge of the pines). Every spring the lake was lowered to do repairs and remove the "muck" around the docks, and we would uncover a few of them and send them on their way in the channel. They were always a curiosity.

Incidentally, we never found any when the lake was "up".... and we found just about everything there was to find.

The last one I found at Taunton was about 12 or 15 years ago. I believe I took a photo of it with my Motorola flip phone, so that's probably gone forever.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Boyd