Invasive red swamp crayfish discovered in two Michigan locations

Posted at 3:06 PM, Jul 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-19 15:06:28-04

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently confirmed the presence of red swamp crayfish in two Michigan locations. 

The first location was reported on July 13 at Sunset Lake in Vicksburg, and the second was on July 17 in the Novi retention pond.

These crayfish are two to five inches in length, and resemble mini lobsters with their deep red color, and raised spots covering their body and claws.

Nick Popoff, the aquatic species and regulatory affairs manager for the DNR says these crayfish are a serious concern because eradicating them can be difficult. "They dig deep burrows near lakes and rivers and can spread quickly over land." Popoff also says that these burrows can be more than three feet deep and can cause damage through bank destabilization to the dams, levees, irrigation systems, and personal property. 

The crayfish also compete aggressively with native crayfish for food and habitat, and can disrupt the food chain for many aquatic species. 

The department staff is currently trying to work on removal efforts in both locations by setting nets, traps, and electro-fishing equipment.