Sometimes you don’t have to go very far to find something of interest here in Northeast Arkansas. While making a short trip to Smithville, Arkansas to take some photo’s of the old downtown area we passed by a large green field filled with little mounds of dried mud protruding from the ground.
My husband a Lousiana native found it slightly funny that I had never seen a crawdad hole in my life. I assumed that they lived in creeks and under rocks since that is where I have viewed them before. I was thrilled to photograph their homes that looked like miniature volcanoes, with oozing mud pouring down the sides. Crawdads usually dig tunnels from 1 to 5 feet deep , so that they can stay moist even during droughts and dry periods. I suppose the low moist area of ground we saw made an excellent spot for the dozens of crayfish homes.

What I learned about crayfish and their homes…
* Don’t stick your hand in a crawdad hole. Not only do crayfish live there but their abandoned homes might house spiders or snakes.
* Crayfish mainly come out at night or on overcast days to eat. Some spend their entire lives underground coming out only to eat and mate. They will eat anything ,plants, minnows, even each other. Crawdads are cannibals!
* They are important indicators of water quality. Many crayfish species are sensitive to water pollution, and can be used as biological monitors to forecast present and historical water quality conditions.
*Crayfish play an important role in breaking down dead plant material, and promoting decomposition and recycling. By chewing, crayfish make organic materials usable as food for smaller aquatic animals. Crayfish are also the main diet of small mouth bass and bullfrogs. They are eaten by many other wild animals including raccoons, bears. herons, and people!