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Raystown Crayfish

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2008/7/22 8:44
From South-Central PA
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I've been fishing the Everett to Saxton section of the Raystown Branch of the Juniata and have seen no crayfish. Many years ago this section was full of crayfish. My eyes are not what they used to be, but surely I'm not missing them all. What has happened? Any insight appreciated.

Posted on: 2012/7/19 7:20
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Re: Raystown Crayfish
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2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
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I don't know the answer but agree with your observtion.

I do a lot of rock rolling and seine netting and I have seen very few crayfish (or helgrammites) on that section of river for the last several years. Fish populations seem to me to be pretty healthy although I haven't fished it this year. I don't catch many large SMBs there but I suspect this may be due to heavy fishing pressure and harvest rates rather than forage. However, when I find few or no crayfish in a large PA warm water river.....that doesn't bode well for bass.

Posted on: 2012/7/19 7:24


Re: Raystown Crayfish

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2009/9/9 13:21
From North Central PA
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Heck, I've seen the same thing wayyy up on the North Branch. Lack of crayfish in the main river and tribs. 'Cept no one believes me since all the rest of the fishing crowds in the 30K jet boats still catch decent bass. Until their catch rates decline, I'm just a crackpot.

Posted on: 2012/7/19 13:31
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Re: Raystown Crayfish

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2009/9/9 14:52
From Bel Air, MD
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My brother and I fished the Raystown branch last summer and did not catch many fish at all - I did not look specifically for crayfish or anything else for that matter, but was disappointed with the numbers and size of the fish.

Posted on: 2012/7/19 21:49


Re: Raystown Crayfish

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2006/9/9 20:09
From Harrisburg
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Dear jj,

I'm saddened to hear that the North Branch is having it's troubles too. I didn't spend a whole lot of time on it in Bradford County but I spent a ton of time on it in Tioga and Broome County NY and when I was there it was loaded with baitfish and fishbait.

Regards,

Tim Murphy

Posted on: 2012/7/20 6:50
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Re: Raystown Crayfish

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2008/7/22 8:44
From South-Central PA
Posts: 448
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Baitfish are plentiful on the Raystown as far as I can see. And catching fish is not a problem, though I agree with Fishidiot on the smallish size of the SMB I catch in the Everett to Saxton stretch of this river. The puzzle to me is what has happened to the crayfish population - and why.

Posted on: 2012/7/20 7:24
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Re: Raystown Crayfish
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Quote:

jjsjigs wrote:
Heck, I've seen the same thing wayyy up on the North Branch. Lack of crayfish in the main river and tribs.


Jigs,
Interesting. I did some rock rolling at the Apple Tree launch last year (and the site of this year's WW jam) and found what seemed like adequate numbers of helgy's and crayfish. I'll bring my kick net to the WW jam next month and try a more systematic macro survey. Are you fishing further upriver than this? It's a long section of river and I've only fished that section around Pittston.

Posted on: 2012/7/20 7:56


Re: Raystown Crayfish
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Quote:

chemsarge wrote:
Baitfish are plentiful on the Raystown as far as I can see. And catching fish is not a problem, though I agree with Fishidiot on the smallish size of the SMB I catch in the Everett to Saxton stretch of this river. The puzzle to me is what has happened to the crayfish population - and why.


Yep. I even saw schools of shad (presumably swim-ups from Raystown) in 2010.
I should point out that I've only fished there for a few years and have no personal experience before that to compare with. In the few years that I've fished that section, there have always been virtually no crayfish based on my limited observation. I'm also unaware of crayfish population crashes in watersheds in PA. There's competition from rusties in some but what might explain their wholesale disappearance would be a mystery to me.

Posted on: 2012/7/20 8:01


Re: Raystown Crayfish

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2010/7/18 7:23
From Lansdale
Posts: 1007
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I've noticed lots of crayfish in the Perkiomen, all alive and swimming away as I wade. The SMB have been few and small. I would think there would be less crayfish if there was something there consuming them. This is sounding like a statewide trend.

Posted on: 2012/7/20 9:05
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