Wednesday, 30 March 2016

WW: Giant Pacific signal crayfish

(This is the giant Pacific signal crayfish [Pacifastacus leniusculus]. Individuals can reach 7 inches – at which point they're real lobsters – but this one's only four.

Oddly, few eat these here, though they're the both the biggest and best-tasting crawdads in the Western Hemisphere. Commercial licenses are available, and some folks are already making a tidy living in a developing market. [My grandfather, born in 1900, made pocket money in his first decade by catching these in Portland creeks and selling them to Jake's Grill.]

The signal crayfish is now threatened – mostly theoretically, to date – by invasive species from elsewhere. Ironically, it's also wiping out native stocks in Europe, having been introduced there last century to replace the fishery in some of those very species, which had been greatly reduced by an epidemic.)
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