Survey shows trapping successfully mitigated invasive rusty crayfish

By on September 10, 2013

Rusty crayfish (Credit: Lindsey Sargent)


A new survey shows that eight summers of full-time trapping worked to manage the population of invasive rusty crayfish, which overtook a Wisconsin lake, according to a the University of Wisconsin.

Twelve years ago the researchers started trapping crayfish in Sparkling Lake.  The crustaceans negatively impacted fish and plant populations by snipping plants with their claws, reducing cover from predators.

When trapping was in full swing, the researchers caught around 1,000 rusty crayfish per day.

Plant communities started recovering as more and more crayfish were trapped in the lake. Now, four years after the trapping program, the crayfish have a small enough population that plants and fish recovered and live in concert with the invader.

Image: Rusty crayfish (Credit: Lindsey Sargent)

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