The rusty crayfish is an invasive crustacean that prefers bottom substrate of clay, silt or gravel with objects for protection such as logs and rocks. This is a very aggressive crayfish with a high tolerance for extreme water temperatures ranging from 0 degrees C to 39 degrees C. The rusty crayfish can damage an entire ecosystem. They compete with native crayfish for the same food and habitat sources, often causing a decline in the native species. This crayfish feeds primarily on vegetation diminishing crucial spawning habitat for native fish. A single female can create a new population with her ability to carry up to 200 fertilized eggs under her tail.
The rusty crayfish is native to the Ohio River Basin and has spread to many of the U.S. states and has also been introduced into Ontario. This aggressive invasive species is impossible to eradicate once introduced.
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