Invasive red swamp crayfish discovered in Kalamazoo Co.

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red swamp crayfish AP_372284

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Officials say an invasive crayfish native to the Mississippi River and the Gulf Coast has made its way to Michigan.

The state Department of Natural Resources says multiple numbers of red swamp crayfish turned up recently in a Novi retention pond and in Sunset Lake, in the Kalamazoo County town of Vicksburg.

They are Michigan’s first known sightings of live red swamp crayfish, a popular menu item in the South.

Nick Popoff of the DNR says the crayfish dig deep burrows that damage infrastructure such as dams, levees and irrigation systems. They compete with native crayfish for food and habitat.

Popoff says getting rid of them is difficult.

DNR staff will monitor both locations to see how far the crayfish have spread, while using nets and traps to capture them.

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