Red Swamp Crayfish Pose a Threat to Wisconsin's Ecosystem


Did you know that the Louisiana lobster is illegal to possess or transport in Wisconsin?

Red swamp crayfish are crustaceans that grow between two and five inches long. They look like lobsters, with red bumps covering most of their bodies. They are also known as the American crayfish. The crayfish are exported to other states all around the nation because they can be part of a savory, popular dish. However, sometimes live crayfish find their way to lakes and rivers in these states, becoming an invasive species.

This crayfish is illegal in Wisconsin since it is considered an invasive species. They are dangerous to our native fish. “If they establish, they can impact the ecosystem by aggressively competing with native crayfish and other species for food and habitat,” said a representative of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The crayfish frequently carry crayfish fungus plague, which can eradicate crayfish species. This species was last seen in Wisconsin in 2009.

On June 21, red swamp crayfish were dumped into the parking lot of a Sauk Prairie canoe landing. Within 24 hours of the dumping, the DNR had gathered as many crayfish as they could. The DNR is sure that no crayfish got into the river, but for extra precaution, they put up fencing and trenches to capture them.

The DNR is asking for the public’s help. If anyone knows anything about the dumping, they’re asking that people call the tip line at 1-800-847-9367, or to submit a violation report online.

[Sources: Madison.com; Dane County Department of Land & Water Resources]

nicely written Mariama!! – Lori Kirk (2019-08-09 16:05)
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