Question

When is the annual "crayfishing holiday" in Sweden ?

I got to Gotebrg in August 1986 for business with SKF. On Thursday of that trip my hosts took me out to their cabin to "fish" for what we in America call "cray fish". They're like 5-7 inch crustacions in the stream & rivers. A very good time was had by everyone. And I got the impression that this was an annual national holiday. Does this ring any bells ? thanks Bill Bodett What's the date of this. I won't make it back to Sweden this year but it's way up there on my places to go.

Location

City: Goeteborg

County: Vastra Gotaland

Country: Sweden

Answers

No, there is no such holiday, but yes, it tends to coincide with the summer holidays. Crayfishing season is only about 1 month long, i.e. it is only allowed to fish for crayfish during the months of June-August for about 1 month. The dates are set anew every year, depending on the season, location, etc. The farmers themselves know their stock best and set the dates.
Unfortunately, Sweden was run down by a crayfish plague 1-2 years ago. The small, indigenous crayfish you are talking about are nearly extinct. In order to keep them in the lake, the lakes have to "rest" (no crayfishing) for about 5-10 years after the plague has hit them in order to recuperate. Most farmers therefore turned to the second option: replace the stock with the plague-resistant american version of crayfish. This, much larger and much fiercer crayfish feeds also on the indigenous swedish crayfish. In all lakes where this replacement has been done, there are now no more swedish crayfish. The few that are trying to keep the indigenous crayfish have problems with trying to increase their stock and trying to keep the "foreigners" out of their lakes (only works upstream, the crayfish spread from lake to the other using the natural currents).
Rather than crayfishing, I advise to spend your next trip helping the farmers to set up nets against the intrusion of the foreign crayfish into the lakes with the last remaining swedish crayfish.

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