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Tuesday, January 26 • 10:20am - 10:40am
Current State of Michigan Crayfishes

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AUTHORS: Kelley Smith*, Michigan State University; Daniel Hayes, Michigan State University; Seth Herbst, Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Michael Jones, Michigan State University; Nicholas Popoff, Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Brian Roth, Michigan State University

ABSTRACT: Crayfish are critical components of freshwater ecosystems. In many locations, crayfish comprise more biomass than all other benthic invertebrates combined. However, crayfish are often understudied, and we often lack basic information regarding species composition and distributions. This is particularly true in Michigan. The last comprehensive survey for Michigan crayfish took place in 1975. Since this time, many non-native species, including the rusty crayfish Orconectes rusticus, have been introduced into the Great Lakes region that could alter crayfish communities across the state. Further, documenting crayfish species composition and distributions in Michigan is becoming increasingly critical due to the imminent invasion of the red swamp crayfish Procambarus clarkii. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) has implemented legislation to help discourage the introduction of invasive crayfishes, but the lack of recent surveys prevents the determination of whether any non-native crayfish, other than rusty crayfish, are already established in the state. We designed and implemented a stratified random survey of streams in Michigan’s lower peninsula to assess the presence and distribution of native and non-native crayfish species, as well as document any expansion of the range of the rusty crayfish. Our results indicated that the distribution of most crayfish species appears stable, while others have expanded their range, including the native digger crayfish Fallicambarus fodiens, white-river crayfish Procambarus acutus, and the invasive rusty crayfish. Although no red swamp crayfish were discovered in Michigan, our survey will aid in the development of risk assessment models to evaluate possible introduction sites.

Tuesday January 26, 2016 10:20am - 10:40am EST
Ambassador E