Crayfish around Eugene

Many years ago I saw a gal here in Eugene carrying a 5 gallon bucket full for crawdads. I wish I would have asked her where she got them... I'm wondering if anybody might know where to catch some here in Eugene and if they are safe to eat. I have never eaten them before but eating shellfish is at the top of my list for sure!
 

rippin fish lips

Well-known member
Many years ago I saw a gal here in Eugene carrying a 5 gallon bucket full for crawdads. I wish I would have asked her where she got them... I'm wondering if anybody might know where to catch some here in Eugene and if they are safe to eat. I have never eaten them before but eating shellfish is at the top of my list for sure!
They like colder and cooler water. Try the Mckenzie river around basketball sized boulders. Anything you can flip, get to flippin. or set traps in the river/lake. Use bait like, herring or sardines, tuna heads, salmon, ect. Siuslaw river/whitaker cr area (40mins away) Great crawfishin. Fall Creek above Fall creek Res has some good sized ones in it and is also about a 30 min drive.
 
I'm cajun, despite the Jew-name... You are going to have to trust me. So I call 'em "crawfish" like any self respecting Coonass.

Crawfish are very high on my list of favorite things to eat. Some people are going to tell you that they need to be purged by pouring salt on them and then swishing them around in water with the salt. This makes them, uh, void themselves, and then you are left with a better tasting animal. We never did this. Some places are sorta scummy, and make scummy tasting crawfish. You can't purge the taste of where they lived out of them. Get them from a cleaner spot, and they will be fine.

Now I have to say here, "clean" and "clear" are not exactly synonymous. Just because water is clear does not make it clean, as a lot of people seem to think. Suspended particulate is not unexpected in some systems, depending on factors like gradient, water exchange rates, and substrate. Think of it like this... which is going to be cleaner, a clear stream running through a city, or a muddy stream running through a forrest? If you get a bunch of crawfish that you think taste a bit odd, don't get them from there next time.

And so you got a bunch of crawfish. Wash them off till the water runs off them clear, like you would do with rice. Fill a pot with enough water to cover them completely (but don't put them in yet!) and bring it to a rolling boil. Add a season mix consisting of LOTS of mustard seed, along with paprika, cayenne, white and black pepper corns, several bay leaves, allspice, cloves, celery seed, and a little salt. Also add a couple tablespoons of white vinegar, as this will make the crawfish easier to pick. Potatoes can go in and cook 15 minutes before the crawfish. Put in a few ears of corn a few minutes before the (live) crawfish, and boil it all an extra 12 to 15 minutes. No more than that, or the crawfish get strange. I go just a touch less myself, about 11 minutes.

Pour it out through a strainer, let it cool a minute or two, and cover your table with paper. Butcher paper is best, but some people use things called "newspapers." (Newspapers are anachronistic items purporting to deliver editorial, journalistic and entertaining content to persons hesitant to concede the death of the twentieth century.)

Dump the whole shebang out on the table, and get to work. things will be a bit messy, it is not just you.

Remoulade is nice with crawfish. I like a good light pilsner or lager style beer as well. Lots of people will have a nice light white wine with crawfish, nothing wrong with that, we are not here to judge.

SS
 

TTFishon

Well-known member
There's a ditch on Bertleson that has good sized ones. hahaha I wouldn't eat them though. lol
The LOng Tom below Fern Ditch has them too.
 

plumbertom

Active member
I'm cajun, despite the Jew-name... You are going to have to trust me. So I call 'em "crawfish" like any self respecting Coonass.

Crawfish are very high on my list of favorite things to eat. Some people are going to tell you that they need to be purged by pouring salt on them and then swishing them around in water with the salt. This makes them, uh, void themselves, and then you are left with a better tasting animal. We never did this. Some places are sorta scummy, and make scummy tasting crawfish. You can't purge the taste of where they lived out of them. Get them from a cleaner spot, and they will be fine.

Now I have to say here, "clean" and "clear" are not exactly synonymous. Just because water is clear does not make it clean, as a lot of people seem to think. Suspended particulate is not unexpected in some systems, depending on factors like gradient, water exchange rates, and substrate. Think of it like this... which is going to be cleaner, a clear stream running through a city, or a muddy stream running through a forrest? If you get a bunch of crawfish that you think taste a bit odd, don't get them from there next time.

And so you got a bunch of crawfish. Wash them off till the water runs off them clear, like you would do with rice. Fill a pot with enough water to cover them completely (but don't put them in yet!) and bring it to a rolling boil. Add a season mix consisting of LOTS of mustard seed, along with paprika, cayenne, white and black pepper corns, several bay leaves, allspice, cloves, celery seed, and a little salt. Also add a couple tablespoons of white vinegar, as this will make the crawfish easier to pick. Potatoes can go in and cook 15 minutes before the crawfish. Put in a few ears of corn a few minutes before the (live) crawfish, and boil it all an extra 12 to 15 minutes. No more than that, or the crawfish get strange. I go just a touch less myself, about 11 minutes.

Pour it out through a strainer, let it cool a minute or two, and cover your table with paper. Butcher paper is best, but some people use things called "newspapers." (Newspapers are anachronistic items purporting to deliver editorial, journalistic and entertaining content to persons hesitant to concede the death of the twentieth century.)

Dump the whole shebang out on the table, and get to work. things will be a bit messy, it is not just you.

Remoulade is nice with crawfish. I like a good light pilsner or lager style beer as well. Lots of people will have a nice light white wine with crawfish, nothing wrong with that, we are not here to judge.

SS
Yep sounds like good eating. Takes a ton of crawdads to make a meal.
Do you just eat the tails or do you suck the heads also?
 
"...head, tail, whole damn thing." :D I'll even get into the claws, if they are big enough. You are right about it taking a lot of bugs to make a meal. Several pounds per person, at least.
 
LOL great reply, SS! Thanks very much for the information to all :thumb: There is a rest stop that I usually pull over at on my way down south to Brookings. It's somewhere between Eugene and the coast I think but I'm not sure. For some reason I can't really picture exactly where it's at but I know it when I'm there... You can walk down a little hill behind the restrooms to the river and I usually see them all over back there. The water is very clear and clean looking. I might have to scoop up a bucket on my way down next time. Thanks guys and gals!
 

coyo7e

Member
Yeah that little boat landing isn't bad for them, with a lane county park pass you can ignore the 30 minute signs.

There are a couple of landings off of River Rd in Eugene heading out toward JC as well, the one closer into town out Spring drive or whatever it's call (last stop light before you get to thistledown farms, turn right, go all the way) has a small fork of the willy that's wadable and a little slower, there might be some in there although I've never been looking there.
 

mudbugger1234

New member
Hey everyone! New to the forums. Great info on WHERE to go around Eugene. I've been out near Whittaker Creek on the north side of 126 last year. Between 4 of us we caught around 3 gallons worth and cooked them up that day. Only complaint was most of them were pretty small.

Question I'm hoping we can address is: WHEN is the best time to go? (to get the biggest crawfish)
 

TheKnigit

Active member
mudbugger1234;n603469 said:
Question I'm hoping we can address is: WHEN is the best time to go? (to get the biggest crawfish)
I have honestly never paid much attention to the when exactly. My general rule of thumb has always been swimming. If the water/weather is warm enough for you to enjoy swimming then the crawdading is good. I guess that would put the time period during the summer months. We tend to take a trip around late July or early August.

Welcome to the forum!
 

xlrustylx

New member
My $0.02

Try the nearest bodies of water that aren't polluted. Make a couple of pillow traps and throw some fish carcasses in them and try an overnight soak to see what you get. I've also waded creeks (with shoes on in the city creeks) at night with a dip net and a headlamp and caught about 20lbs in a few hours and had a blast doing it.

The little critters are everywhere, don't think too hard about it.
 

coyo7e

Member
mudbugger1234;n603469 said:
Hey everyone! New to the forums. Great info on WHERE to go around Eugene. I've been out near Whittaker Creek on the north side of 126 last year. Between 4 of us we caught around 3 gallons worth and cooked them up that day. Only complaint was most of them were pretty small.

Question I'm hoping we can address is: WHEN is the best time to go? (to get the biggest crawfish)
Later in the spring or summer, definitely. You can get them at the fish market in Eugene on Blair in March or April, but they'll be scrawny and covered in eggs. Wait until summer is picking up steam!
 
Top Bottom