Aquatic Nuisance - Rusty Crayfish
Rusty Crayfish (Orconectes rusticus)
Where did they come from?
- They originated from waters in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio.
- They have been transported to foreign waters recently due to anglers using them as bait.
Where can they be found in South Dakota?
- Rusty crayfish have been found in a single private waterbody in Brookings County.
What do they look like?
- Rusty Crayfish are similar to native crayfish. They can be told apart by their large black tipped claws and the rusty spots on the back of their torso. They can range anywhere from 2-8 inches long.
Why are Rusty Crayfish a problem?
- Rusty crayfish can force out or completely replace native crayfish.
- They can destroy plant bed abundance and diversity.
How are Rusty Crayfish spread?
- They are spread by anglers using them as bait.
- Since females carry fertilized eggs, it only takes one to cause a problem.
Check out Aquatic Nuisance Species Prevention on ways to prevent the spread of Aquatic Nuisance Species