Yabby Aussie Crawfish Crayfish

Yabbies are common throughout Victoria and New South Wales, although the species also occurs in southern Queensland, South Australia and parts of the Northern Territory, making it the most widespread Australian crayfish.

Yabbies are found in swamps, streams, rivers, reservoirs and farm dams at low to medium elevations.

Yabbies feed primarily on algae and plant remains, at night, but also opportunistically feeding on any fish or animal remains they encounter at any time of day.

Yabbies are an important dietary item for Australian native freshwater fish like Murray cod and golden perch.

Catching yabbies

Or "yabbying", in rivers and farm dams is a popular summertime activity in Australia, particularly with children. The most popular method involves tying a piece of meat to a few metres of string or fishing line, which in turn is fastened to a stick in the bank, and throwing the meat into the water. The string is pulled tight when a determined yabby grasps the meat in its claws and tries to make off with it. The line is then slowly pulled back to the bank, with the grasping yabby usually maintaining its hold on the meat. When the meat and the grasping yabby reaches the water's edge, a net is used to quickly scoop up both the meat and the grasping yabby in one movement.

Other methods of catching yabbies involve various types of nets and traps. Local fishing regulations must be checked before using any nets and traps for yabbies; many types of nets and traps are banned as wildlife such as platypus, water rats and long-necked turtles can become trapped in them and drown.

Cooking Yabbies

As well as being easy to catch, yabbies are quite easy to cook. For the best results, leave the yabbies in just enough fresh water to cover their heads overnight so they can excrete all of the mud and dirt from their system. After this, freeze the yabbies. To cook, place them into a pot of boiling water until they turn red. Peel them similar to the way you would peel prawns, remembering to move the digestive tract. Enjoy with thousand island dressing or add to pasta dishes.

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