Family: Order Decapoda Subphylum Crustacea Phylum Arthropoda
Decapoda means literally ten (deca-) footed (-poda). Like their close relatives and fellow decapods the lobsters, crabs, and shrimp, crayfish have ten legs. Unlike most crustaceans which live in salt water, most species of crayfish live their entire life cycle in fresh water. Crayfish look alot like lobsters, but they are smaller, usually no more than about 4 - 6 inches long.
Crayfish are fun to catch and can be easily found when only puddles remain in the creekbeds. Just remember that there is a "catch and release policy" at Kaweah Oaks Preserve which applies to all creatures. Hold them behind the head section and try to avoid those claws... OUCH ! !