Join Date: May 2011
Location: North Dartmouth MA
I have kept many crayfish, and while regular crayfish are escape masters, in my few experiences with CPOs and the Cajun dwarfs I didn't see any escape attempts. but they are expensive enough where I can see you wouldn't want to chance it.
cgg, crayfish can survive for hours out of water, so they are not necessarily suffocating as soon as they leave water. They like to explore and don't realize they cant get back or there is no other water around. I did hear of an interesting trick of leaving a shallow bowl of water at the base of the stand, so any escapees had a chance of finding water to stay wet until you found them.
As for a DIY project, I doubt you would be able to beat the pricing of those aqueon glass lids you can buy at petco or online. They hold up pretty well and I believe the 10 gallon models are around 10 dollars. The wire mesh would work, but would obstruct much more light than a cheap glass hood and would be difficult to attach and keep from bending or bowing. Glass hoods have the added benefit of reducing evaporation (less top offs).