The noble crayfish is listed as endagered by the NBIC, and as such it is not a given that crayfishing will be allowed every year. Some populations however are large and healthy enough to tolerate limited crayfishing.
If crayfishing is allowed a given year, the season will start august 6. at 18:00 and last out the month. Every person who participates has to purchase a crayfishing license. (Children under the age of 8, and is under the supervision of persons who owns a valid license, may fish for free)
Only 24 hour licenses are available.
Crayfishing is regulated by both national and local law, which has to be followed if the crayfish populations are to remain healthy enough for future fishing. Any offenses will be reported by the protection services.
Implements intended to be used in different waterways has to be sterilized between crayfishing trips, in order to prevent the spread of crayfish plague. Thorough sun drying is sufficient.
Do not catch crayfish below the minimum size limit of 9,5cm in length. The noble crayfish starts to reproduce when it reaches 7 years. At that point it is around 8 cm long. Thus the size limit allows reproduction at least once before it is caught.
OFA sells licenses covering these localities:
- Raudsjøen and Børtervann
- Dikemarksvannene in Asker
- Nøklevann, Elvåga badedam, Åklungene, Sognsvann, Steinbruvann.
The biggest threat to the noble crayfish (Astacus astacus) in Norway is a parasitic fungi known as the crayfish plague. The disease was brought to Europe carried by introduced american crayfish species during the 1800s. In Norway 4 watercourses has been affected; Vrangselva in 1971 to 1974, and the Glomma-, Halden and Store Le-watercourses in 1987 to 1993. In all of these waters the noble crayfish has been reintroduced, but in Glomma the new population disappeared in 2003. The noble crayfish is defenseless if an outbreak occurs. However the crayfish plague requires living crayfish to survive, so in Norway it is possible to reestablish the species after a few years. An american crayfish species, known as the signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus), was introduced in Sweden (1960) because it can survive infection.
The signal crayfish is similar to the noble crayfish, but it is a tolerant carrier of crayfish plague. Once established in an environment it will be next to impossible to stop further outbreaks. Because of this the signal crayfish is not welcome in Norway! Introductions of the signal crayfish is therefore a major threat to Norwegian noble crayfish populations. The signal crayfish appeared on the Swedish side of the lake Store Le in the autumn of 2002. This lake lies mainly in Sweden, but parts of it reaches across the Norwegian border. The signal crayfish has a light (white) coloration around the joints of its claws. The claws’ shell is smooth, while the claws of the noble crayfish has small spikes. It lives in deeper waters, often require traps to be caught, and is thus less engaging to fish. It also has a tendency to establish dense populations with small individuals. It has far from the same food and market value as the noble crayfish.