What to do if you find a Crayfish in the wild
Signal crayfish © Stephanie Peay
If you know there are White-claws in a river or other waterbody you are not allowed to search for them or trap unless you have an appropriate licence or you are with someone who holds the correct licence.
It is illegal to handle and remove White-clawed crayfish without a licence.
If you do find a crayfish, we advise you to take photos on the spot so it can be identified. However put the crayfish back where you found it immediately afterwards and then leave it alone – do not take it away from the river. Please let your local Environmental Agency (see contact details below) know where you found the crayfish and crayfish staff will be able to provide an e-mail address for you to send any photos and other details.
There may be opportunities to help with crayfish surveys locally again your local environmental agency will be able to provide information about volunteering, see contact details below. The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, the Biological Records Centre and JNCC have recently completed an online recording form which can also be used to record sightings. Photos can also be uploaded to this site.
In England and Wales contact - the Environment Agency on 08708 506 506
In Scotland contact - the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)
SEPA North 01349 862021 , SEPA South East 01314 497296 and SEPA South West 01355 574200
In Northern Ireland contact - the Northern Ireland Environment Agency on 0845 302 0008