Monday, August 6, 2007

August 6th - Rusty

Lake Vermilion is infested with these miserable critters. They have overtaken the native species of crayfish, decimated the weed beds, and cause ecological havoc. I do my part in ridding the lake of these pests. My efforts may be a drop in the bucket; but I feel better about doing something, however small it is.

Rusty crayfish (Orconectes rusticus) have invaded portions of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ontario, and many other areas. Although native to parts of some Great Lakes states, rusty crayfish have spread to many northern lakes and streams where they cause a variety of ecological problems.
Rusty crayfish inhabit lakes, ponds, and streams. They prefer areas that offer rocks, logs, or other debris as cover. Bottom types may be clay, silt, sand, gravel, or rock. Rusty crayfish inhabit both pools and fast water areas of streams. They generally do not dig burrows other than small pockets under rocks and other debris, although there have been reports of more substantial burrows. Unlike some species (such as the papershell crayfish, O. immunis) which dig burrows to escape ponds that are drying up or becoming inhospitable, rusty crayfish need permanent lakes or streams that provide suitable water quality year-round.

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