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Ontario now considers Red Swamp Crayfish as invasive

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry wants to ensure they never enter our waters.

The Red Swamp Crayfish has been listed as invasive by the Ontario Government to prevent its introduction into local waters. The crayfish, often called a “Crawdad”, is native to the south-eastern U.S. and can survive in a wide range of habitats. The crayfish are often raised for food but have also been used as bait by anglers.

The Ministry is concerned that due to its adaptability, the fish may expand its range. Due to the fact that they can harbour toxins and overeat some water species, there is concern they could impact the natural habitat of Ontario.

Red Swamp Crayfish reach up to 12 centimetres long and are typically a dark red colour. They have long heads and claws than other crayfish and are often covered in small red bumps. They are occasionally sold under the name “Freshwater Lobster”.

The Ministry reminds the public that, as an invasive species, importing, transporting, breeding, buying or selling the crayfish for any purpose is illegal.

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