New video gives tips on identifying red swamp crayfish

This invasive can disrupt the food chain for many native aquatic species.
Bookmark and Share
Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.
dnr logo

Statewide DNR News

Aug. 7, 2017

Contact: Nick Popoff, 517-284-5830 or Joanne Foreman, 517-284-5814

Have you encountered the red swamp crayfish in Michigan?

New video gives tips on identification

In July, the Department of Natural Resources confirmed the presence of invasive red swamp crayfish in Novi and near Kalamazoo. These two locations represent the first detections of live red swamp crayfish in Michigan.

Why be concerned?

Though they are native to southern states, red swamp crayfish are considered invasive in Michigan because they compete aggressively with native crayfish species for food and habitat. They feed on plants, insects, snails, juvenile fish and other crayfish, disrupting the food chain for many aquatic species.

Of greatest concern is their habit of burrowing deep into banks, causing damage to dams, irrigation systems and shorelines.

What is being done? 

still image from video on identifying red swamp crayfishSince the initial reports, DNR staff have been setting traps in nearby lakes and ponds to remove the crayfish and determine the extent of the infestations at both locations. At the same time, staff are following up on reports from concerned citizens who believe they may have seen or found red swamp crayfish at other places across the state.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has created a new video to help people identify and report red swamp crayfish. The video is the third in the department’s MDEQ Minute series, offering 60-second views on a broad range of topics including new and potential invasive species in Michigan.

What can you do?

If you find a red swamp crayfish, photograph it and send the photo, date and location of the find to

For more information about red swamp crayfish and other invasive species of concern in Michigan, visit    

Help spread the word

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to

DNR facebook page DNR on Twitter DNR on YouTube DNR on Pinterest DNR on Instagram DNR email updates