Rusty Crayfish

Rusty Crayfish Orconectes rusticus

 

 

Where do rusty crayfish come from?

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    The normal distribution of the rusty crayfish includes Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio.

     

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    In recent years its distribution has expanded because of the use of live crayfish as bait by anglers.

     

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    The rusty crayfish has not been found in Kansas.

     

What do rusty crayfish look like?

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    Rusty crayfish have large, black-tipped claws.

     

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    Rust colored spots on carapace.

     

Why are rusty crayfish a problem?

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    Rusty crayfish displace native crayfish.

     

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    They destroy plant bed abundance and diversity.

     

How do rusty crayfish spread?

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    Spread by use as bait.

     

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    Females carry fertilized eggs which make spread easier.

     

How do we control rusty crayfish?

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    Learn to identify the rusty crayfish.

     

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    Do not use rusty crayfish as bait.

     

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    Always drain water from your boat, livewell, and bilge before leaving any water access.

     

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    Always dispose of your unwanted bait on land or in the trash.

     

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    Never dip your bait bucket into a lake or river if it has water in it from another waterbody.

     

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    Never dump live crayfish from one waterbody into another.

     

What do I do if I discover a rusty crayfish?

If you discover a rusty crayfish, freeze it in a sealed plastic bag, note the date and location, and call the Emporia Research Office at (620) 342-0658 or email the Aquatic Nuisance Species Coordinator . Early detection of isolated populations may help prevent their spread. Your help to report new sightings and to prevent their spread is vital.

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Rusty Crayfish links:

Sea Grant-Rusty Crayfish

Rusty Crayfish Fact Sheet

MN-Rusty Crayfish Information