Brady Gillum -
SCHOOLCRAFT TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) -- A Michigan Department of Natural Resources crew was out on a small lake near Vicksburg Thursday to trap invasive red swamp crayfish.
The small creatures that look similar to lobsters, which are native to the southeast part of the country and the Gulf Coast, have made their way to southwestern Michigan. On Thursday, crews caught about 20 of them at Sunset Lake, so far the only place they've been found in the state.
The DNR is concerned about the red swamp crayfish, which create deep burrows that erode the shoreline and hurt native species.
Officials say it's not clear exactly how the invasive crayfish wound up in the lake, but it was likely because of humans.
"This crayfish in particular is very popular in the food trade," said Seth Herbst, an aquatic invasive species coordinator with the DNR. "So it could have been a crawfish boil that went wrong. Maybe some of them made it to the pot, the others made it to the lake."
Herbst says winter will not kill off the invasive crayfish. They will survive because of their extensive burrows.
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