Wild Crayfish


The wild crayfish is crustacean, and is closely related to lobsters, crabs, and shrimp. They are about 3 to 6 inches long and live in streams, rivers, swamps, ponds and other freshwater habitat.

98%% of the crayfish in the United States come from Louisiana and they can be cooked or prepared in most manners similar to crabs or lobsters. Wild Crayfish also turns bright red when cooked.


Other names: Mudbugs, Crawfish, crawdads, Crawdad, Yabbies, Crayfish
Translations: Savvaļas Vēži, Laukiniai Vėžiai, Wild Raci, Wild Rak, Wild tôm càng xanh, Dzikich raków, Wild Rivierkreeftjes, जंगली क्रेफ़िश, Wild lagostas, Дикие раков, Άγρια Ποταμοκαραβίδες, جراد البحر البرية, 와일드 대하, Divoké rak, Wild ulang, 野生小龙虾, Silvestre del cranc de riu, Wild Kuhani, Divoké rak, Wild gamberi di fiume, הפרוע סרטן הנהרות, Wild Kräftor, Дивља рак, ワイルドザリガニ, Wild écrevisses, Wild krebs, Wild kreps, Silvestre del cangrejo de río, Дикі раків, Wild ravut, Диви Раци

Physical Description

Wild Crayfish resemble little lobsters. They are a freshwater fish and are actually more of a crustacean. They have 2 large pinchers and a few smaller pinchers. They also swim backwards, which can be fun to watch.

Colors: Brown and dark until cooked.They turn pink when cooked

Tasting Notes

Flavors: Sweet, Umami, Fish
Mouthfeel: When cooked correctly the meat will be extremely soft and have a seafood texture
Food complements: Crayfish can make a great linguine or can be made into lovely soups
Wine complements: Red wine or a good pinot
Beverage complements: Beer, Brandy, Cognac
Substitutes: Shrimp, Lobster, Crab

Selecting and Buying

Seasonality: march, april, may, june
Peak: april, may
Choosing: Crayfish are by nature a very small specimen. The bigger the Crayfish the more the meat.
Buying: Crayfish can be bought at specialty high end fish markets.
Procuring: Crayfish can be caught by using a simple bait trap. Place some chum in a bait trap and leave it out in shallow water by rocks over night. By the morning you should have a good amount of crayfish.

Preparation and Use

Crayfish can be boiled, sauteed, or fried. Their shells can make for a hard time cooking though.

Cleaning: Crayfish have tough exoskeletons that make for a hard time cleaning. Make sure to thoroughly rinse your crayfish before cooking.

Conserving and Storing

Crayfish can be stored in the freezer. Make sure to use air tight freezer bags.


Crayfish have no great social or political importance.

History: Crayfish have been fished for centuries. The early Native Americans were the first to utilize this animal.



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