An Education Program of the National Park Service

Crayfish Study Participation

Participation in the Crayfish Study is open to anyone wishing to assist with this important study. If you wish to participate, please contact the program lead for The River Mile and start sharing what you know about crayfish in your area.

School groups can participate in and assist with the study at different levels:
  1. Collect species identifications, number of crayfish observed of each species and general locations. Catch and release using any legal method;
  2. Collect species identifications, number of crayfish observed of each species; PLUS latitude and longitude of locations observed. Catch and release using any legal method;
  3. Collect species identifications, number of crayfish observed of each species, latitude and longitude of locations observed; PLUS collect core parameter information including weather, water quality (depth, temperature, pH, conductivity) and shoreline bank information. Use traps or nets for any legal length of time.
  4. Collect species identifications, number of crayfish observed of each species, latitude and longitude of locations observed; PLUS collect core parameter information including weather, water quality (depth, temperature, pH, conductivity) and shoreline bank information. Use traps set for 24 hour period (allows for calculations of population density).
  5. Collect species identifications, number of crayfish observed of each species, latitude and longitude of locations observed; PLUS collect core parameter information including weather, water quality (depth, temperature, pH, conductivity) and shoreline bank information; PLUS Dissolved Oxygen water test. Use traps set for 24 hour period (allows for calculations of population density).

All levels of participation and observation are contributing very important scientific data. Scientists need to know what species are out there and where.

It is important that all groups make sure that their data is correct to the best of their ability, as many resource specialists and scientists are interested in the status of crayfish in the Pacific Northwest. If you have any questionable data, make a notation in any comments section and say why it is questionable.

Crayfish Study Period

Observations of crayfish can be made any time during the year. Actual collection of specimens can only be collected during open seasons specified by state fishing regulations.

In Washington the season is the first Monday in May through October 31st. As of 2014 Oregon State collection for crayfish is open year-round. Please be sure to check the current fishing regulations for your area. All groups must conform to their local and state fishing regulations.

If you have any questions please contact The River Mile’s Program Lead.

Getting Started

Sample and Analysis Plan (docx)
Outlines methods used for conducting crayfish surveys.

Washington State Crayfish Fishing Regulations
Regulations for trapping & removing crayfish.

Background Information: