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DNR seizes record number of illegal crayfish

Flickr User National Parks Service

Live red swamp crayfish are illegal in Michigan and Canada. That’s why when a truck driver tried to cross into Canada from the mitten with an abundance of the aquatic invader, the Department of Natural Resources stepped in.


Roughly two-thousand pounds of red swamp crayfish were taken. It’s the largest aquatic invasive species seizure made by the DNR.

The crayfish burrow and cause shoreline erosion and instability. They also compete with native crayfish, amphibians, and juvenile fish.

Lt. Michael Feagan is with the DNR’s Law Enforcement Division. He said there are a few reasons someone might have the animal.

“Typically what people are using red swamp crayfish for, they’re in the live food markets they’re using them for food, for like a crayfish boil or something along those lines. Or they’re using them for live fishing bait.”

Lt. Feagan said it’s not yet known why the truck driver had the crayfish. The seizure is still under investigation.

In the interest of disclosure the DNR is a financial supporter of WCMU.