Nature: Crawdads — the Gateway Species

Blue Crawdad

Blue Crawdad



This is Passport to Texas

It all starts with the first catch…

08—Kids don’t start with large mouth bass, they start with crawdads. This is what I call a gateway species; it leads to greater nature appreciation in adults.

…but first, you have to go out to get one. Nathan Johnson is coauthor of the field guide, Texas Crawdads. He’s worried kids today spend too much time indoors and are missing out on the fun of nature. A lifetime creek adventurer himself, catching crawdads seems the perfect way to open kids’ doors to the outside.

16—It’s more than just catching crawdads. They’re going out there and their adventuring. It’s discovery. When I was a kid, the geography of my life was defined by which creeks and woods were within bicycling distance of my house. We’d considered those creeks our creeks and our woods and we’d explore.

And taking that sense of ownership a step further; he’s encouraged young folks to contribute to conservation efforts as well.

17—I talk to cub scouts and I tell them: you can make a difference, you can begin to record the crawfish of your state so that you can increase the awareness and the knowledge and the biodiversity. The work you do is just as important as the work that state biologist does with their inventories. All we gotta do is put it in their hands and say go.

Leave a comment with your crawdad catching adventures at passporttotexas.org.

That’s our show… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

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