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Tag Archive | "Grand River"

Invasive red swamp crayfish found in Michigan


Red swamp crayfish, like the one pictured here, recently were discovered in Sunset Lake in Vicksburg (Kalamazoo County) and a retention pond off Haggerty Road in Novi (Oakland County).

The crayfish were found in two different locations

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently confirmed the presence of invasive red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) in Sunset Lake in Vicksburg, south of Kalamazoo (Kalamazoo County), and in a retention pond off Haggerty Road in Novi (Oakland County).

Reports of the crayfish at Sunset Lake came to the DNR from two separate landowners Thursday, July 13. DNR staff verified the reports during a survey of the area July 14, finding several crayfish in the grass in a local park and in shallow areas on the lake’s west side.

A citizen reported possible red swamp crayfish in the Novi retention pond Monday, July 17, after a child captured one in a dip net. DNR staff responded that afternoon and removed 111 specimens from the pond.

These two reports represent the first live detections of red swamp crayfish in Michigan. In 2015, discovery of a pile of dead red swamp crayfish at Kollen Park in Holland (Allegan County) led to an intensive trapping effort by the DNR in Lake Macatawa and portions of the Grand River. No live crayfish were found at that time.

What are red swamp crayfish?

Red swamp crayfish, also known as Louisiana crayfish, are deep red in color with bright red, raised spots covering the body and claws. They have a black, wedge-shaped stripe on the top of the abdomen. Between 2 and 5 inches in length, these crayfish resemble miniature lobsters. They are native to the Mississippi River drainage and the Gulf Coast and are the popular “crawfish” or “crawdads” used in southern cooking.

Why are they a concern?

Red swamp crayfish are a serious concern because of their ability to damage earthen structures and the threats they pose to the environment.

“Eradicating red swamp crayfish is very difficult,” said Nick Popoff, aquatic species and regulatory affairs manager for the DNR. “They dig deep burrows near lakes and rivers and can spread quickly over land.” Popoff said that such burrows, which can be more than 3 feet deep, can cause damage (through bank destabilization) to infrastructure such as dams, levees, irrigation systems and personal property. In Wisconsin, the only solution for one instance of a red swamp crayfish invasion was an extreme measure to pave over a pond.

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.

Red swamp crayfish can survive drought conditions and are known to migrate as much as approximately 2 miles over land in search of habitat. They are very fertile, with females laying up to 600 eggs at a time and reproducing up to two times in a year.

How did red swamp crayfish get here?

Sources of the two infestations are not known, but according to Popoff, live crayfish may have been brought from southern states for use as bait or for human consumption. Red swamp crayfish also are sold in some states as personal or classroom aquarium pets, and release of those pets is one way invasive species are spread.

“Red swamp crayfish are a prohibited species in Michigan, which means it is unlawful to possess, introduce, import, sell or offer them for sale as a live organism, except in special circumstances, including providing specimens to the DNR for identification,” said Popoff.

What is being done?

Department staff will continue survey and removal efforts on Sunset Lake and its tributaries to determine the size and extent of the infestation. Staff will be out during the daytime and evening hours setting nets and crayfish traps and using electrofishing equipment to capture and remove the crayfish. Connecting water bodies including Austin, Barton and Howard lakes will be surveyed in the coming weeks. Survey and removal efforts are ongoing at the Novi location.

How can people help?

“These two cases show the importance of citizen involvement in the fight against invasive species,” said Popoff. “Alert citizens noticed something unusual and reported it to the DNR, allowing us to initiate a quick response to each situation.”

Residents and visitors to the Sunset Lake area are asked to try to capture any red swamp crayfish they find and place them in a container in the freezer, then report the location of the find to the DNR at 269-685-6851, ext. 0, or by email to herbsts1@michigan.gov.

Sightings of red swamp crayfish in the Novi area or elsewhere in Michigan should be photographed and reported with the date and location of the find to herbsts1@michigan.gov.

For more information about red swamp crayfish and other invasive species of concern in Michigan, visit www.michigan.gov/invasivespecies.

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New exhibit open at Grand Rapids Public Museum


 

Grand Fish, Grand River

ENT-New-exhibitThe Grand Rapids Public Museum (GRPM) announced a brand new exhibition, Grand Fish, Grand River, that opened Saturday, Jan. 23. This new exhibit is a thematic extension of the current West Michigan Habitats exhibit, and includes two 10-month-old Lake Sturgeon.

Grand Fish, Grand River explores how the Great Lakes region’s largest and oldest fish, the Lake Sturgeon, once found in great abundance, is now a threatened species in our watersheds. The exhibit takes visitors through the connections to Native Americans, fishing history in the region and current science. Using artifacts from the GRPM Collections, along with the two live sturgeon, it will tie together the cultural, historical and scientific connections and explore rehabilitation efforts for this species in the Grand River and throughout the Great Lakes region.

Lake Sturgeon live along the rocky bottoms of our lakes and rivers, and are an important environmental indicator for the health of our ecosystem. These fish have fossil ancestors that from the Early Jurassic Period—the age of the dinosaurs. Lake Sturgeon have affected the region historically and culturally and still do today.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has identified 24 lake sturgeon populations as distinguished by major watersheds in Michigan waters: 2 in the Lake Superior drainage, 11 in the Lake Michigan drainage, 9 in the Lake Huron drainage and 2 in the Lake Erie/Lake St. Clair complex.

This exhibit has been made possible through partnership with the DNR, Fisheries Division, Tribal Coordination Unit; Oden State Fish Hatchery; Michigan State University, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and through sponsorship by Aqua Blue Aquarium Solutions, Blue Fish Aquarium, Grand Rapids Steelheaders Foundation, Great Lakes Fishery Trust and Schrems West Michigan Trout Unlimited.

Grand Rapids Public Museum

The Grand Rapids Public Museum, accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, is located in downtown Grand Rapids, MI at 272 Pearl Street, NW. The mission of the Museum is to be a living monument of artifacts, ideas and stories told through exhibitions, events and educational programming designed to inspire, motivate and celebrate our human bond. We enrich the life of our community through experiences of the wider world in a uniquely Grand Rapids context. For additional information including hours of operation, admission fees and exhibit/event listings, please visit grpm.org.

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Two state-record fish caught in West Michigan


White Perch Record: This 2-pound white perch was caught by Cindy Lou Cordo, of North Muskegon, on Bear Lake (Muskegon County) this spring.



White Perch Record: This 2-pound white perch was caught by Cindy Lou Cordo, of North Muskegon, on Bear Lake (Muskegon County) this spring.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently confirmed two new state-record fish for black buffalo and white perch. This marks the second and third state-record fish caught in 2015.

The state record for black buffalo was broken by a fish caught by Sage Colegrove of Muskegon on the Grand River in Ottawa County Sunday, April 12, at 1 a.m. Colegrove was bowfishing. The fish weighed 44.54 pounds and measured 38.50 inches.

The record was verified by Rich O’Neal, a DNR fisheries biologist in Muskegon.

Black Buffalo Record: Sage Colegrove (right) holds on to his new state-record black buffalo, with help from friend Richard Laing (left). The 44.54-pounder was caught on the Grand River in Ottawa County.

Black Buffalo Record: Sage Colegrove (right) holds on to his new state-record black buffalo, with help from friend Richard Laing (left). The 44.54-pounder was caught on the Grand River in Ottawa County.

The previous state-record black buffalo was caught by Joshua Teunis on Bear Lake (Muskegon County) June 15, 2014. That fish weighed 41.25 pounds and measured 38.25 inches.

The state record for white perch was broken by a fish caught by Cindy Lou Cordo of North Muskegon on Bear Lake in Muskegon County Saturday, April 18, at 4:30 p.m. Cordo was baitcasting with a spinner. The fish weighed 2.0 pounds and measured 13.57 inches.

The record again was verified by Rich O’Neal.

The previous state-record white perch was caught by Aaron Slagh on Muskegon Lake (Muskegon County) Jan. 21, 2014. That fish weighed 1.93 pounds and measured 13.25 inches.

State records are recognized by weight only. To qualify for a state record, fish must exceed the current listed state record weight and identification must be verified by a DNR fisheries biologist.

For more information on fishing in Michigan – including a roster of state-record catches, visit Michigan.gov/fishing.

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Catch of the Week


OUT-Catch-Nicolas-HernandezNicolas Hernandez, age 10, from Cedar Springs releasing a fish he caught on the Grand River last month.

Great catch, Nicolas! You made the Post Catch of the Week!

 

Posted in Catch of the Week, Featured, OutdoorsComments (0)


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