Breeding activity for redclaw depends on water temperature and day length, and normally occurs between September and April within their natural range. Farmers can protract breeding by providing a controlled environment in which temperature is manipulated to simulate the onset of the breeding season.
Techniques for breeding and juvenile production vary considerably between farms and regions. Generally, selected broodstock (some redclaw strains are clearly superior for cultivation over others) are placed in specially designed ponds or tanks where mating naturally occurs.
The female broods the eggs for 6–10 weeks, depending on temperature. The larger the female, the more eggs she can produce. Most females produce 300–800 eggs per brood. Redclaw may produce 3–5 broods during the breeding season.
Hatchlings resemble the adult form and remain attached to the underside of the female for several weeks before progressively becoming independent of the mother.
Advanced juveniles are normally harvested at 5–10g (3–4 months old) and sorted for size and sometimes sex.
- You will need to discuss technical and licensing aspects of any proposed aquaculture venture with staff from Fisheries Queensland and the Department of Environment and Science before proceeding with site selection, design and, where applicable, land purchase.
- Contact the Queensland Crayfish Farmers Association for information about redclaw aquaculture in Queensland.
- Download the latest report to farmers for aquaculture industry statistics and production data.