TOPEKA — An invasive species of crayfish known for considerable ecological damage and for attacking people and animals with its large claws has been discovered for the first time in the wild in Kansas, state officials said.
The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks reported the Rusty Crayfish was found in McPherson State Fishing Lake and represented the first documented presence of this species of crayfish within the state. The Rusty Crayfish was located during testing of capture methods in preparation for widespread sampling in Kansas lakes for invasive species.
This large, aggressive crayfish made distinctive by black-tipped claws and rust-colored spots on its upper shell is known to outcompete native fish and crayfish for forage. It also has proven to be a nuisance when striking the feet of unsuspecting people and animals in freshwater.