Michigan: Beware of dem Louisiana "crayfish"

Published: Aug. 3, 2017 at 4:46 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - It is the kind of invasion you look forward to if you are from the south – sweet, delicious crawfish.

However, officials from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources said in July the department discovered the first live "red swamp crayfish" in the state.

The state said red swamp crawfish are a concern because of their ability to damage the environment.

"Red swamp crayfish, also known as Louisiana crayfish, are deep red in color with bright red, raised spots covering the body and claws. They have a black, wedge-shaped stripe on the top of the abdomen. Between 2 and 5 inches in length, these crayfish resemble miniature lobsters. They are native to the Mississippi River drainage and the Gulf Coast and are the popular "crawfish" or "crawdads" used in southern cooking," a statement on the website said.

"Eradicating red swamp crayfish is very difficult," said Nick Popoff, aquatic species and regulatory affairs manager for the DNR. "They dig deep burrows near lakes and rivers and can spread quickly over land."

Popoff said that such burrows, which can be more than three feet deep, can cause damage to infrastructure such as dams, levees, irrigation systems and personal property.

In Wisconsin, the only solution for one instance of a red swamp crayfish invasion was an extreme measure to pave over a pond.

Residents in Michigan are encouraged to call officials if they see the invasive species.

Or call Louisiana… the season is almost over, and we'll find something to do with them.

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