Saturday, July 04, 2015

Crayfish trap authorisation

You must not trap non-native crayfish without written consent from the Environment Agency (EA) in England or Natural Resources Wales in Wales.
You also need permission from the landowner and any relevant angling clubs.
If you trap crayfish without written permission you could be prosecuted.
If your application is approved you’ll get:
  • permission to trap using approved traps (see the application form for details)
  • identity tags for each trap (these must be attached to traps)
  • a catch return form (use this to keep a record of crayfish you catch)
It takes 10 to 20 days to process your application. It may take longer if the water has a conservation designation such as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
In some areas you also need a licence to keep non-native crayfish alive after trapping.
If you are a fish farm owner or fish farm employee you don’t need consent to trap non-native crayfish but you must comply with trap rules.

Native crayfish

Native crayfish are a protected species – you can only trap them for scientific purposes and not to eat or sell.
To do this you need to register with Natural England and follow instructions on the class licence for white clawed crayfish.
In Wales contact Natural Resources Wales.

Crayfish trap rules

There are strict rules about the design and size of crayfish traps because they can harm other wildlife. If traps are the wrong size or design your application will be refused.
Traps must:
  • be no longer than 600mm
  • be no wider than 350mm at the widest point
  • have an entrance no more than 95mm wide
  • have mesh no bigger than 30mm at its widest point
  • have EA identity tags
You must:
  • tell EA or NRW about crayfish you trap using a catch return form (you get the form when you’re authorised)
  • return species not covered by consent to the water they came from

We are back from the Crawfish Boil. Licenses to trap them are free  in the UK. I wonder if I could feed myself catching them in the Wandle before and after work.
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