Crayfish, a smaller member of the crustacean family that originates in warm southern waters, are lobster's smaller cousins. The eponymous star of the Crayfish boil, Louisiana supplies 95% of the crayfish sold in the United States. In 2007, the Louisiana crayfish harvest was about 54,800 tons, almost all of it from aquaculture. Crayfish were introduced to the warm springs and outflows of Ash Meadows in the early twentieth century. Strangely enough they weren't introduced as a human food source but as food for the introduced bullfrogs. Bullfrog legs were popular in Las Vegas and since bullfrogs eat anything and eat a lot, the populations of endemic pupfish and speckled dace weren't enough to fatten then up. Enterprising farmers introduced the fast reproducing crayfish (which also eat pupfish and dace) to feed the introduced bullfrogs.
Restoration efforts have been very successful in bringing back the pupfish and speckled dace, and
Located close to the center of the Ash Meadows National Wildlife refuge, between the eastern mountains and the western Carson Slough, Cold Spring is far from the fault line from which the warmer springs rise. Possibly that's why the water from this spring isn't warm. It's cold, and hence the name. Never-the-less the spring still pumps out huge amounts of water into the desert and as such was a prime candidate for human appropriation. Sometime in the mid 1960s the spring head was enclosed in concrete reservoir, pumps were installed and any native fish life was pumped out onto the alfalfa fields.