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Freshwater Crayfish 5(1): 418-428 (1983)


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The crayfish Procambarus clarkii from California rice fields: Ecology, problems and potential for harvest

Sommer TR and Goldman C  e-mail link

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An investigation of the feasibility of harvesting Procambarus clarkii from California rice fields has been made. The life history of the animal and its negative and positive effects on the rice industry were examined in field studies and grower surveys. The ecology of this crayfish species in California appears to be at least qualitatively simi1ar to descriptions from other states, and its distribution has expanded greatly in the last 20 years. Its range now extends from San Diego to Tehama County. Population sizes are quite variable. Crayfish biomass ranged from 1.4 kg/ha to 204 kg/ha in the two fields surveyed. Four general types of problems with crayfish were reported by farmers in ten rice-growing counties. The growers experienced displacement of rice irrigation boxes, seedling damage, as wel1 as diffiuc1ties with herbicide management and rice harvest. Sixty percent of the growers had taken specific measures to deal with crayfish. These methods include structural changes in the fie1d, pesticide use, and sometimes small-scale harvest. The problems have c1early become concerns to growers, and annual statewide costs to growers may exceed a quarter-million dollars annually. Further investigations of harvest as a control method are warranted, for pesticide use may not be wholly effective and harvest offers the possibility of profit rather than expenditure.

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Sommer TR and Goldman C. (1983). The crayfish Procambarus clarkii from California rice fields: Ecology, problems and potential for harvest. Freshwater Crayfish 5(1):418-428. doi: 10.5869/fc.1983.v5.418



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