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Freshwater Crayfish 15(1): 48-55 (2006)


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Evaluations of an experimental, formulated crayfish bait for use in cold water and as part of a residual bait strategy

McClain WR and D'Abramo LR  e-mail link

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Formulated (pelleted) baits are commonly used to attract crayfish to traps in the commercial crayfish industry of Louisiana. By necessity, more expensive fish baits (commonly clupeids and carp) are used in cooler water because crayfish catch with current formulated baits in water temperatures less than 20°C is typically low. This study was originally designed to evaluate the effectiveness of an experimental, formulated bait compared to a commonly used fish (gizzard shad) and two commercially available formulated baits under cool water conditions. The effectiveness of the experimental bait in cool water (Trial 1) was found to be inferior to that of gizzard shad and was similar to the commercial baits. Catch efficiency with gizzard shad was 2.5 to 5.4 times higher than that with formulated bait, regardless of formulation. Response to the experimental bait was no better than that to either commercial brand although the water stability of the experimental bait was far superior. Because of the exceptional water stability of the experimental bait, the efficacy of reusing residual pieces of bait from a previous baiting was evaluated in a separate trial in warmer water (> 20°C). When residual pieces of the experimental bait were used, as available, to compare with the common practice of rebaiting with fresh bait pieces daily (Trial 2), mean crayfish yield increased 6.3% and the amount of large, high-value crayfish increased 7.1%; however, these differences were not significant. Nonetheless, for the 9-week harvest period, use of the residual bait practice decreased the amount of fresh bait use by 54%, an estimated $79 USD/ha savings, while total crayfish yield increased by 32 kg/ha.

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McClain WR and D'Abramo LR. (2006). Evaluations of an experimental, formulated crayfish bait for use in cold water and as part of a residual bait strategy. Freshwater Crayfish 15(1):48-55. doi: 10.5869/fc.2006.v15.048



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