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Freshwater Crayfish 10(1): 37-45 (1995)


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Studies on a mixed population of the crayfish Austropotamobius pallipes and Pacifastacus leniusculus in England

Holdich DM and Domaniewski JCJ  e-mail link

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A mixed population Austropotamobius pallipes and Pacifastacus leniusculus inhabiting an English lake was studied from late 1990 to mid-1994 by means of trapping and seine netting. An initial population of 200-300 A. pallipes had been allowed to develop without interference in the lake from 1975-85. In 1985 and 1986, 500 P. leniusculus juveniles were introduced on each occasion. These were presumed to have been free of crayfish plague as A. pallipes was still present in early 1992. Some five years after its introduction, the trappable population of P. leniusculus increased rapidly and then declined to be followed by a further increase and decline between 1992 and early 1994. It was thought that this cycle was the result of attempts to manage the P. leniusculus population by removing the catch, including a large number of berried females, from February 1992. However, the catch in July 1994 showed no such reduction in numbers. Comparison of mean sizes and the range of sizes showed no significant differences between crayfish trapped before removal started and afterwards. Numbers of trappable A. pallipes were always much lower than those of P. leniusculus. Only on the first few trappings was the CPUE similar to that of P. leniusculus. There was a modest increase during the second half of 1991, at the same time the P. leniusculus substantially increased their numbers, but after that A. pallipes declined in numbers and appears to have been eliminated by early 1992. The implications of the removal results for the management of wild P. leniusculus populations are that a considerable amount of effort would have to be put into any such exercise. Removal at key stages of population development, i.e. prior to breeding and when females have eggs, seems to have had little effect on the Boxmoor population. However, continual removal of berried females may eventually affect recruitment.

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Holdich DM and Domaniewski JCJ. (1995). Studies on a mixed population of the crayfish Austropotamobius pallipes and Pacifastacus leniusculus in England. Freshwater Crayfish 10(1):37-45. doi:



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