SD Least Wanted.comAquatic invasive Species

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rusty crayfish


Illinois, Indiana and Ohio


Rusty Crayfish are similar to native crayfish. They can be distinguished by their large black tipped claws and the rusty spots on the back of their torso. They range in length from 2-8 inches.


Rusty crayfish can force out or completely replace native crayfish, and can destroy plant bed abundance and diversity.

Range Expansion:

This species is primarily spread through inadvertent introductions by anglers. Females carry fertilized eggs, so a single release can start a population.

South Dakota Distribution:


Keep Aquatic Invasive Species Out of South Dakota's Waters


  • Remove aquatic plants and animals before leaving any waterbody.
  • Drain water from bait bucket, live well, bilge and motor before leaving any waterbody.
  • Dispose of unwanted bait, fish parts, and worms in the trash.
  • Spray/wash boat, trailer, and equipment with high pressure hot water on your way home or at home -OR- dry everything for at least 5 days.
  • Always report questionable species.


  • Never release live animals or plants - this includes all aquarium species, bait, pets or water garden plants. Do not release these into the wild. If you cannot find another home for animals, dispose of them in a trash can or bury them. Seal plants in plastic bags and dispose.


Because these hitchhikers can:

  • Reduce game fish populations
  • Ruin boat engines and jam steering equipment
  • Make lakes/rivers unusable by boaters and swimmers
  • Dramatically increase the operating costs of drinking water plants, power plants, dam maintenance, and industrial processes
  • Reduce native species
  • Degrade ecosystems
  • Affect human health
  • Reduce property values
  • Affect local economies of water-dependent communities.
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