NANFA-- AZ crayfish restrictions

Jay DeLong (
Tue, 20 Jun 2000 11:08:34 -0700

Crayfish are, of course, opportunistic feeders which can negatively impact
aquatic systems at various tropic levels. Southwestern fishes seem to be
especially vulnerable to introduced species because they evolved in
depauparate systems and apparently lack the ability to successfully compete
and defend themselves from predators.

So, the message below about proposed changes to AZ regulations regarding
crayfish may come as no great surprise. Of possible interest to some of you
is the language making it "unlawful to possess live pets...".

Jay DeLong
Olympia, WA


From: Michael Demlong <> Subject: Arizona Game and Fish Commission votes to begin rulemaking on crayfish

The Arizona Game and Fish Commission has given the nod for the Game and Fish Department to begin rule-making proceedings for changes to rules due to the negative impact of non-native crayfish on sport-fish and native species. The proposed changes will modify the use of live crayfish as bait, prohibit the importation, purchase, possession and sale of live crayfish in the aquarium trade, and prohibit the sale of live freshwater crayfish to the public for consumption. These changes will help slow the spread of non-native crayfish in managed and natural waters, protect sport fish, native fish, other native species, and bring awareness to the issue of aquatic invasive species.

The proposed changes are: * R12-4-313, Lawful Methods of Taking Aquatic Wildlife: Restrictions: The proposed amendment will liberalize methods of take for crayfish, increasing the potential for the take of crayfish for bait (to be used as bait at the site of capture) of human consumption.

* R12-4-316. Possession, Transportation, and Importation of Live Bait, Crayfish, and Waterdogs: The proposed amendments will prohibit the transportation of live crayfish for use as bait in Arizona. However, fishermen will continue to be allowed to use crayfish when used in the same water where captured.

* R12-4-411. Minnow Dealer's License: The proposed amendment will prohibit the sale of crayfish as live bait for sport fishing and reduce the intentional or accidental introduction of non-native crayfish purchased as bait into Arizona waters.

* R12-4-406. Restricted Live Wildlife: the proposed amendment will make it unlawful to possess live crayfish without a special license or permit. This will prohibit the sale of crayfish as pets and help prevent the intentional of accidental introduction of non-native crayfish into Arizona waters through the disposal of unwanted pets.

* R12-4-407. Exemptions from Special License Requirements for Restricted Live Wildlife: The proposed amendments will allow continued import and purchase of live crayfish for restaurant and food market trade and will allow persons already possessing crayfish, either as pets or in private waters, to keep the crayfish without special licensure. In addition, the incorporation by reference in section (A)(9) will be updated.

If you would like more information or have questions, drop me a line.

Mike Demlong Amphibians and Reptiles Program Manager Arizona Game and Fish Department 602-789-3504 (office) 602-789-3504 (FAX)

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