How to catch redclaw crayfish

Reclaw crayfish (Cherax quadricarinatus) are found most commonly in Australia’s warm freshwater impoundments.

Redclaw are native to Queensland and the NT but have been translocated elsewhere, with good numbers existing in some NSW waters.

It is possible they now exist in every state except Tasmania, as they tolerate a wide temperature range, low oxygen levels and crowded conditions.

As well as lakes and ponds, redclaw live happily in creeks, rock pools and fast-flowing rivers.

They are omnivorous, eating meat and plants.

Queensland dams are the most productive redclaw locations, but they are common in some NT waters, and in WA’s Lake Kununurra.

They were found in NSW’s Emigrant Creek Dam in 2004 and Lake Ainsworth in 2011, and may now exist widely in the NSW northern rivers region, with aquaculture facilities in Richmond Valley, Clarence Valley, Kempsey Shire, Port Macquarie-Hastings and Camden.

Redclaw spread as people illegally stocked them in places they were not natively found.

Their large size, good flavour and lack of dam-destroying burrowing behaviour (unlike southern yabbies) makes them popular.

Redclaw numbers fluctuate in impoundments from season to season, varying from super-abundant to hard pickings.

For best results, try to check redclaw stocks at a given location before making a trip.

Usually worthwhile numbers of redclaw are easy to find, and they can be readily caught in baited traps.

They can be trapped from shore in some locations, but a boat makes finding them easier.

Strict regulations apply to the type of gear used, partly to prevent animals such as turtles drowning in traps.

Redclaw fishing rules differ in each state.

Spearing them at night is popular in the NT, keeping in mind the crocodile risk.

Redclaw eyes shine red under a torchlight, making them easy to find, although a bait can be used to bring them to the spearer.

Redclaw crayfish can be boiled or grilled immediately after being caught, but some folk let redclaw purge themselves in a bin of clean water first.

They can be cooked and eaten many ways.

The tail can be peeled much like a prawn and the meat eaten on its own or in salads, or in sandwiches.

Some external videos about catching redclaw crayfish are featured below.

How to catch redclaw

How to catch redclaw

Catching redclaw from shore

Catching and cooking redclaw

Somerset Dam redclaw crayfish

Spearing NT redclaw crayfish

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Lake Leslie, Queensland

QLD fishing regulations
QLD marine parks
GBRMPA marine parks
QLD stocked waters
QLD dam levels

Lake Leslie, 15km from Warwick, has stocked yellowbelly, silver perch and Murray cod, and native populations of spangled perch and eel-tailed catfish.

The Leslie dam was built on Sandy Creek in 1963 and the lake since formed has a surface area of 1250ha, with an average depth of 8m when full.

This impoundment has been well stocked in years past and was once one of Queensland’s best yellowbelly waters.

Drought and subsequent low water levels have affected this dam.

Yellowbelly are still the main catch on lures, with silver perch usually taken on bait.

Cod have been historically an occasional catch but there are enough caught to maintain interest.

Lake Leslie has rocks around the fringes and standing timber in the upper reaches of Sandy Creek. These are the spots to start fishing.

The lake has a range of facilities, including a shop, and Lake Leslie Tourist Park has camping, boats and kayaks.

Boats can be launched from a concrete boat ramp, or the bank.

Local streams are also stocked with fish.

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Some external videos filmed at Lake Leslie are featured below.

Lake Leslie cod

Lake Leslie kayak fishing

Drone footage of Lake Leslie at low water

Lake Leslie landbased fishingr

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Lake Moogerah, Queensland

QLD fishing regulations
QLD marine parks
GBRMPA marine parks
QLD stocked waters
QLD dam levels

Lake Moogerah, 60km from Warwick, is arguably Queensland’s home of big bass.

It is a medium-sized lake of 880ha, with an average depth of about 10m and holds 92,500 ML of water, with the dam below the junction of Coulsons and Reynolds Creeks.

This impoundment is one of South-East Queensland’s best for bass, and there are also yellowbelly, silver perch and Mary River cod.

Waterskiers use the lake so weekend fishing is usually done near the shoreline, with more opportunity during the week outside of holiday periods.

The beginning of the standing timber is a good area to start.

Trolling rocky points for bass usually involves following the shore line in 5m to 7m of water using lures that reach the lower depth.

Best times are early morning and late afternoon, but fish will bite through the day.

The best areas for trolling are the rocky points either side of the dam wall, and the rocky points leading to the gorge.

Bait fishing with shrimp gets bass but lures and flies are also effective.

The gorge below the dam flows into Warrill Creek and then into the mighty Bremer and Brisbane Rivers.

Moogerah Dam suffers from low water at times.

Launching is difficult from the two ramps when the water is low and a 4WD may be needed.

Camping is at A.G. Muller Park.

A Stocked Impoundment Permit (SIP) is required to fish at Lake Moogerah.

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Some external videos filmed at Lake Moogerah are featured below.

Lake Moogerah yellowbelly

Lake Moogerah bass

Lake Moogerah bass on plastics

Lake Moogerah Caravan Park

Building the dam wall

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