Juvenile red swamp crayfish (or crawfish), Procambarus clarkii (20-41 mm in total length) were collected from a crayfish culture pond by dipnetting and tagged with sequentially numbered, standard length, binary-coded wire tags. Four replicates of 50 crayfish were impaled perpendicular to the long axis of the abdomen with a fixed needle. Tags were injected transversely into the ventral surface of the first or second abdominal segment and were imbedded in the musculature just beneath the abdominal sternum. Tags were visible upon inspection. Additionally, two replicates of 50 crayfish were not tagged and were used as controls. Growth, survival, and tag retention were evaluated after 7 d in individual containers, after 100 d in aquaria, and after 200 d in field cages. Tag retention during each sample period was 100%, and average mortality of tagged crayfish within 7 d of tagging was 1%. Mortality during the remainder of the study was high (75-91%) but was similar between treatment and control samples. Most of the deaths were probably due to cannibalism. Average total length increased threefold during the course of the study, and crayfish reached maturity. Because crayfish were mature by the end of the study, we concluded that the coded wire tag was retained through the life history of the crayfish.
Additional Publication Details
Tag retention, growth, and survival of red swamp crayfish Procambarus clarkii marked with coded wire tags