Assessing how fish predation and interspecific prey competition influence a crayfish assemblage. Poly, and J.W. University of Wisconsin-Superior fishery scientist Bill Swenson (personal communication), has observed rusty crayfish attacking bluegill nests guarded by males. People most likely spread rusty crayfish to the other waters of Minnesota where they are currently found. Capelli. Can. Young, small crayfish can be difficult for non-specialists to conclusively identify. Identification: Lobster-like, brown body, up to 6 inches with claws. Although there is no direct evidence, presumably people can spread crayfish in several ways. Crayfish for Consumption Permit Can. Faxonius rusticus )) has a light to dark brown body. Control of nuisance populations of crayfish with traps and toxicants. Rusty Crayfish have grayish-green to reddish-brown claws. Regents of the University of Minnesota. Rusty crayfish typically live 3–4 years. 1994. Displacement of native crayfish by rusty crayfish could result in less food for fish. Observations and circumstantial evidence gathered by Wisconsin fishery managers suggest that bluegill and northern pike populations frequently decline following the introduction of rusty crayfish (Harland Carlson and Chris Sand, Wisconsin DNR, pers. Invading rusty crayfish frequently: Environmentally sound ways to eradicate introduced populations of rusty crayfish have not been developed, and none are likely in the near future. They spread prolifically and outcompete other species including native crayfish. Roth, A.R. J. Nat. Figure 3: The underside of a female crayfish shows the seminal receptacle where the sperm capsule is held by the female until eggs are fertilized. Rusty crayfish have large, robust claws which are grayish-green to reddish-brown in color. The rusty crayfish (Faxonius rusticus) is a large, aggressive species of freshwater crayfish which is native to the United States, in the Ohio River Basin in parts of Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. Wilson, K.A., J.J. Magnuson, T.K. 50:1279-1288. They prefer areas that offer rocks, logs, or other debris as cover. Sci. Figure 4: a: Dark spot on carapace of O. rusticus. The Colorado Division of Wildlife is monitoring the state's waters for the introduction of an aggressive invasive species, the rusty crayfish. Field-Nat. The spots may not always be present or well developed on rusty crayfish from some waters. They generally do not dig burrows other than small pockets under rocks and debris, although there have been reports of more substantial burrows. Kitchell. Disclaimer: These identification guidelines should not be used when positive identification is needed. 2006. Morphoedaphic and biogeographic analyses of crayfish distribution in Northern Wisconsin.     Rusty crayfish are probably spread by non-resident anglers who bring them along to use as fishing bait. Unlike some species (such as the papershell crayfish, Orconectes immunis), which dig burrows to escape ponds that are drying up or bec… Hill, A.M. and D.M. and J.G. J. Capelli, G.M. Helgen (1990) was the first to survey rusty crayfish comprehensively in Minnesota. Ives, and M.J. Vander Zanden. Lodge. http://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.asp?speciesID=214. Freshwater Biol. 51:224-235. White wart-like bumps on claw. She offers them protection during this vulnerable life stage. Rusty crayfish are also sold to schools by biological supply houses. Hill, A.M. and D.M. © 1996 – 2020 Regents of the University of Minnesota Rusty crayfish may cause a variety of negative environmental and economic impacts when introduced to new waters. 1984. Can. No one should introduce this species into any waters. Capelli, G.M. and J.P. Jass. On either side of their backs, they have a dark, rusty spot, about where you would grab them to pick them up. Females molt after the release of their young, typically in June or early July. J. Crustacean Biol. Claws are narrower and elongated. Rusty crayfish also reduce aquatic plant diversity by destroying the plants as they feed. Rusty crayfish from east central Minnesota (St. Croix River and tributaries) may have resulted from the natural dispersal of introduced populations from Wisconsin. In addition, rusty crayfish could interfere with the effectiveness of control with the freshwater weevil Euhrychiopsis lecontei (through predation). Submerged aquatic plants are important in these systems for: Although other crayfish eat aquatic plants, rusty crayfish eat even more because they have a higher metabolic rate and appetite (Jones and Momot 1983). Garvey, J.E., R.A. Stein, and H.M. Thomas. Rusty crayfish were found for the first time in Colorado during routine sampling operations in 2009 in the Yampa River … Bottom types may be clay, silt, sand, gravel, or rock. These white patches are glair — a mucus-like substance secreted during egg fertilization and attachment. Can. Identification: Brownish-green body with dark, rusty-red spots on either … Midl. Gap is a mere slip when claw is closed. Perry, W.L., J.L. Prog. Rusty crayfish were not found in Wisconsin in a 1932 survey, but populations have rapidly expanded throughout Wisconsin lakes and streams since their introduction around 1960 (Capelli and Magnuson 1983). Identifying crayfish can be difficult. Fetzner, Jr. 2004. Due to the rusty crayfish's large size, aggressive eating habits and rapid spread, they continue to have serious impacts on native species in Ontario. When closed, the claws have an oval gap in the middle. Helgen, J.C. 1990. Rusty crayfish have been observed in 430 Wisconsin lakes and streams and the occurrence of rusty crayfish in sites that support crayfish has increased from 3% in the 1970s to approximately 50% in 2007 (Olden et al. 2004. Because males have an additional molt each year, they are usually larger than females of the same age. Recent research seems to support this; a combination of intensive trapping and enhanced fish predation, through regulations that protected smallmouth bass, effectively controlled rusty crayfish in Sparkling Lake, Wisc. Such activities probably help spread the species farther. Red swamp crayfish are dark red with raised, bright red spots covering the body and claws, and a black, wedge-shaped stripe on the top of the abdomen. The rusty crayfish is an invader species in northern lakes and streams of the Great Lakes region. Lodge. species 2-5 infected only native crayfish and were present in low numbers 1 snail species was found to be a primary microphallus host Rapports et Proces-Verbaux des Reunions Conseil International pour l'Exploration de la Mer 178:299-303. This page last modified on May 04, 2016 The first observation of rusty crayfish in Minnesota was in 1967 at Otter Creek in southern Minnesota. and J.J. Magnuson. They can drive native crayfish out, making them susceptible to predators. All rights reserved. Fish. Stored sperm are released as eggs are expelled and external fertilization occurs. McCarthy, J.T. Rusty crayfish have been shown to reduce aquatic plant abundance and species diversity (Lodge and Lorman 1987; Olsen et al. In the spring, males will molt into a sexually inactive form (called Form II) and then molt back into the reproductively competent form (Form I) in summer. Wetzel, J.E., W.J. © 5 species of microphallus were found only species 1 was found in rusty crayfish; it was the most abundant and was shown to infect 4 species of crayfish. 15: 1656-1666. Cabin owners on heavily infested northern Wisconsin and Minnesota lakes have even stopped swimming because large numbers of "rustys" occupy their favorite swimming area throughout the day. Since Eurasian watermilfoil spreads and reproduces by plant fragmentation, crayfish could accelerate its spread. Milwaukee Public Museum, Milwaukee, WI. Also, Eurasian watermilfoil is more likely to establish itself in areas where rusty crayfish have disrupted the native plant community. and D.M. Rusty crayfish do not survive in waters with dissolved Ca2+ concentrations under 2-3 mg/l (Capelli and Magnuson 1983). Fish predation and trapping for rusty crayfish (Orconectes rusticus) control: a whole-lake experiment. Male bass and sunfish protect their nests until the eggs hatch and the advanced fry swim away. Rusty, red-colored spots... Spot size and darkness is highly variable across individuals. It was also found that total zoobenthos, larval midges, mayflies, dragonflies, and stoneflies decline as rusty crayfish populations increase (McCarthy et al. 2004). Positive identification requires looking at a number of characteristics and having enough experience to interpret them. Invasive Species - Crayfish Rusty Crayfish (Orconectes rusticus), Red Swamp Crayfish (Procambarus clarkii), Northern Ringed Crayfish (Orconectes neglectus). 5c: O. immunis — No black bands. They fear stepping on them and getting pinched by their large claws. Rusty Crayfish Fact Sheet (pdf). Hobbs, H.H. (Hein et al. Hein, J.D. A typical rusty crayfish lives three to four years. Rusty crayfish should be reported. When the claws close, there is an oval-shaped gap. Eggs hatch in three to six weeks depending on water temperature. Momot. They also grow larger, hide less often from predators – and therefore feed longer (Stein 1977) – attaining high population densities. Implications of hybridization between introduced and resident Orconectes crayfishes. The hook and the larger claws are used for grasping females during mating. 177 pp. Aggressive interactions and resource competition in relation to species displacement among crayfish of the genus Orconectes. Rusty crayfish are more likely to compete with juvenile game fish and forage fish species for benthic invertebrates than are native crayfish species. Rusty crayfish feeding habits threaten native plant beds and native fish eggs and young fish. The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. 63:383-393. 1985); however, rusty crayfish have not seemed to damage walleye reproduction in most of the Wisconsin lakes they have invaded. 43:993-998. Lodge, D.M., A.L. Bottom types may be clay, silt, sand, gravel, or rock. 2:486-492. Has larger, more robust claws than native crayfish species. Munjal. And, none selectively kill rusty crayfish without killing other crayfish species. Sci. Rusty crayfish are opportunistic feeders. Rusty's claws have bumps. The rusty crayfish (Orconectes rusticus) is already a common invasive in Michigan waters. 2004). Species replacements among Orconectes species in Wisconsin Lakes: the role of predation by fish. Regulations in both states make it illegal to introduce rusty crayfish into any waters. 2004). Here are some general characteristics that you can use to help identify mature adults of four common crayfish species (O. rusticus, O. virilis, O. immunis, and O. propinquus) found in the Great Lakes region. Sci. Species Description Adult rusty crayfish are typically 7.5-13 cm (3-5 in) long with large, robust claws that display black banded tips. Populations of crayfish identified as rusty crayfish in Iowa and southern Minnesota (Des Moines and Cedar River basins) may be golden crayfish, Orconectes luteus (Wetzel et al. A pair of rust colored spots may be found on either side of the carapace (hard upper shell), and the claws often have black bands at the tips. Fish. Sixty-five of these species, including rusty crayfish, belong to the genus Orconectes. Habitat: Rusty crayfish inhabit lakes, ponds and streams. 1991; Olden et al. The rusty crayfish shares the water with a number of native look-alikes, most notable of which are the virile crayfish (Orconectes virilis) and the northern clearwater crayfish (Orconectes propinquus). Fish. Faxonius rusticus (formerly Orconectes rusticus) is a crayfish native to rivers and lakes in the Ohio river basin in the USA.It is considered one of the most invasive introduced crayfish. Marking. Mature crayfish have a dark, rusty spot on each side of the carapace. Developing a viable commercial harvest of rusty crayfish from natural lakes could be incentive for unscrupulous trappers to plant them into other waters. The cause of bluegill, bass, and northern pike declines is probably reduced abundance and diversity of aquatic plants. 1991. 27:741-745. Aquat. 106(3):397-399. 106 pp. Claws larger and smoother than many other crayfish; usually without wart-like white bumps Smith, D.G. Capelli, G.M. It is illegal to collect, harvest or possess rusty crayfish. The best method of control, however, is to prevent their introduction. They vary in length between 2-5 inches. Smallmouth bass in Lake Lenore and largemouth bass in Pounsford Lake, Ontario, also seemed to decline following introduction of rusty crayfish (Dr. Walter Momot, pers. 1988. J. Crustacean Biol. and J.J. Magnuson. Since then, their range has expanded to approximately 50 different lakes and streams spanning 13 counties. 1986; Olsen et al. Roth, B.M. Crayfish are eaten by fish, but because of the higher ratio of their thick exoskeleton (shell) relative to soft tissue, their food quality is not as high as many of the invertebrates that they replace. Momot, W.T. Has larger, more robust claws than native crayfish species. reduce the amount and kinds of aquatic plants, decrease the density and variety of invertebrates (animals lacking a backbone), and. J. Ecol. It has also been reported that pumpkinseed sunfish do a poor job of defending their eggs from rusty crayfish, especially at night (Wilson et al. 1981. Intensive trapping and increased fish predation cause massive decline of an invasive crayfish. Rusty crayfish were illegally introduced in southeast Wyoming and are an aquatic invasive species. Fish. 1985. 1986) near a heavily used boat landing.It is suspected that this species was introduced to the lake sometime between 1973 and 1979 based on historical trapping data (Lodge et al. The eggs are then attached to the swimmerets on the underside of the crayfish's abdomen ("tail section"). Capelli, and R.J. Houlihan. Crayfish from schools or collected from the wild and placed in home aquariums may eventually be released. Kratz, and T.V. 5b: O. virilis — No black bands. 5a: O. rusticus, O. propinquus — Black bands at claw tips. Extension is expanding its online education and resources to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions. 2001a. Feder, and D.M. The harvest of rusty crayfish for food and bait may provide the only beneficial use for this exotic. Rusty crayfish can be identified by their larger size—adults can reach 7.5 to 13 cm from rostrum (part of shell in front of eyes) to tail, brown body and rusty colored patches on … J. The rusty crayfish (Orconectes rusticus) comes from streams in the Ohio River basin states of Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana and Tennessee. 58:1237-1253. 1982. Crayfish are considered opportunistic feeders. Impacts on other fish species are not as obvious. Figure 5: Claw shape can help distinguish between the various species. In Wisconsin, relatively few aquatic systems fall below this level, indicating little potential to limit rusty crayfish distributions. 1994). Bekel, and J.J. Magnuson. J. Aquat. 2006). It can be easily confused with other locally-native crayfish species. The grayish green to reddish brown claws are large and generally smooth. Long-term dynamics of three crayfish species in Trout Lake, Wisconsin. J. Figure 2: The underside of a Form I male crayfish shows one pair of legs with hooks (copulaory stylets) and hardened gonapods. 50(2):103-106. For comments, encouragement and review of the manuscript we thank Dr. Bill Swenson, University of Wisconsin-Superior; Dr. Walter Momot, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario; Harland Carlson, Chris Sand, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and Jeff Maxted, University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Limnology. Displacement of northern Wisconsin crayfish by Orconectes rusticus. Maxted, W.W. Fetzer, and M.J. Vander Zanden. J. Summary of Invasiveness Top of page. Lodge. O. propinquus has a claw very similar to the rusty crayfish, but lacks the dark spots on each side of the carapace. They prefer areas that offer rocks, logs, or other debris as cover. The male (Figure 2) transfers sperm to the female (Figure 3). Educating anglers, crayfish trappers, bait dealers, and teachers about the threats posed by rusty crayfish will help reduce the risk of spreading rusty crayfish to new areas. Hist. Fish. A rusty crayfish is a dark brown crayfish that can reach approximately 4 inches in length with large claws and rust-colored spots on each side of its body. Rusty crayfish inhabit lakes, ponds, and streams. Management Juveniles especially feed on benthic invertebrates like mayflies, stoneflies, midges, and side-swimmers. It is a very aggressive and voracious species, feeding on macrophytes, fish eggs and invertebrates and thus decreasing biodiversity and causing cascading trophic interactions. Rusty crayfish can harm fish populations by eating fish eggs (Horns and Magnuson 1981), reducing invertebrate prey, and through loss of habitat (aquatic plants). Fish-Cult. The Rusty Crayfish may be distinguished by a dark rusty spot on both sides of the carapace (body) and a rusty-red band followed by a dark stripe on the large pin­cers (claws). 2007). Revised Jan. 1999, Aug. 2002, Dec. 2008) (Other species found in the region include Cambarus diogenes, C. robustus, O. sanbornii, Procambarus acutus acutus, and in southern parts of the region, P. clarki). They are a very aggressive species that often displace native crayfish. Preventing or slowing the spread of rusty crayfish into new waters is the best way to prevent the ecological problems they cause. Adults up to four inches. Limnol. They typically grow much larger than native crayfish and directly compete with these species for food and suitable habitat. He did not know, however, if rusty crayfish caused the bluegills to abandon their nests. DiDonato, G.T. Invasive Features and Impacts on Invaded Ecosystem. Unlike some species (such as the papershell crayfish, Orconectes immunis), which dig burrows to escape ponds that are drying up or becoming inhospitable, rusty crayfish need permanent lakes or streams that provide suitable water quality year-round. Commercial harvest for food is more recent and varies from year to year in Wisconsin and Minnesota. 3:548-564. Oval gap when closed. Researchers suggest that nuisance populations of rusty crayfish are the result of poor fishery management and that by restoring a healthy population of bass and sunfish, rusty crayfish would be less disruptive in some lakes (Momot 1984). 1982. 1993. Other crayfish species, even if abundant, are less conspicuous during daylight hours. The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. This whole-lake experiment found that aquatic plants, benthic invertebrates and sunfish increased as a result of rusty crayfish population decreases. North Am. Lodge, D.M., T.K. Rusty crayfish readily mate in captivity so it is reasonable to expect that mature females, whether used as fishing bait or as science class specimens, could produce offspring. They can harm fish populations by eating fish eggs, reducing invertebrate prey, and through loss of habitat (aquatic plants). Eggs hatch in three to six weeks, depending on water temperature. 10:120. Editorial reviewers were Doug Jensen, Marie Zhuikov, and Sharon Moen. They also have a black band at the tip of their claws. Sci. Adapted from USGS Rusty Crayfish Fact Sheet (2007). Nat. Rusty crayfish inhabit lakes, ponds, and streams. 1991, Wilson et al. Lake bottom tyrant. Rusty crayfish feed on a variety of aquatic plants, benthic invertebrates (like aquatic worms, snails, leeches, clams, aquatic insects, and crustaceans such as side-swimmers and waterfleas), detritus (decaying plants and animals, including associated bacteria and fungi), fish eggs, and small fish. Once hatched, young crayfish cling to the female's swimmerets for three to four molts (molting is when crayfish shed their old shell to allow growth). Crayfish found in Oregon Fact Sheet (pdf). Rusty crayfish inhabit both pools and fast water areas of streams. Rusty crayfish are large; adults can reach 7.5 to 13 centimetres rostrum (partof shell in front of … Even though a warning not to release rusty crayfish into the wild accompanies these crayfish, such warnings may be forgotten, or live crayfish may be given away to students. 48(10):1853-1861. J. Form I males are characterized by large claws, a hook on one pair of their legs (Figure 2), and hardened gonapods. This aggressive species (Capelli and Munjal 1982) often displaces native or existing crayfish species. A long-term study showed that fish species that compete for prey with rusty crayfish (like bluegills and pumpkinseeds) decline over time after rusty crayfish invade (Wilson et al. Growth slows considerably after crayfish attain maturity. Oversized claws have an oval opening when closed and black bands at tips. They prefer areas that offer rocks, logs or other debris as cover. The use of one exotic species to control another is highly discouraged without proper long-term studies. Rusty crayfish adults reach 4 inches in length. 1994). (Lodge et al. Rusty crayfish belong to the same genus as Orconectes virilis, but their claws are generally smoother – although may still have tubercules/bumps in contrast to the native signal crayfish. Olden, J.D., J.M. Publication Number: X34, 31 West College Street    Duluth, MN 55812    (218) 726-8106. 2006 and UW-Madison Center for Limnology, unpublished data 2008). This gives the impression that a light-colored stripe runs along each side of the tail section (Figure 4b). The rusty crayfish is an aggressive crayfish with a huge appetite. Further range extensions of the crayfish Orconectes rusticus in the Lake Superior basin of northwestern Ontario. rusty crayfish may have rusty spots on each side of the shell. Displacement of crayfish, such as Orconectes virilis and Orconectes propinquus has occurred in many northern Wisconsin lakes, northern Ontario, in the Kawartha Lakes region of southern Ontario (Capelli 1982; Hill and Lodge 1994; Lodge et al. 105(2): 405-407.     and B.J. Can. Rusty crayfish displace other crayfish species through three primary mechanisms: The destruction of aquatic plant beds is perhaps the most serious impact. Juveniles stay with the female for several weeks after hatching and reach full maturity the following year upon completion of about 8 to 10 molt cycles. Just prior to egg laying, white patches appear on the underside of the tail section, especially on the tail fan (Figure 3). Feder, G. Dwyer, and D.M. Reduced food (such as mayflies, midges, and stoneflies) and egg predation may also play a role. Rusty crayfish inhabit both pools and fast water areas of streams. She stores the sperm until her eggs are ready to fertilize, typically in the spring (late April or May) as water temperatures begin to increase. Rusty Crayfish ( Orconectes rusticus) DESCRIPTION: Rusty crayfish live in lakes, ponds and streams, preferring areas with rocks, logs and other debris in water bodies with clay, silt, sand or rocky bottoms.They typically inhabit permanent pools and fast moving streams of fresh, nutrient-rich water. Olden, and M.J. Vander Zanden. Horns, W.H. Rusty crayfish can generally be identified by their more robust claws, which are larger than either O. immunis' or O. virilis', and by the dark, rusty spots on each side of their carapace. shelter for young gamefish, panfish, or forage species of fish. Red Swamp Crayfish Fact Sheet (pdf). Rusty crayfish females lay from 80 to 575 eggs. Rusty crayfish females can lay between 80 and 575 eggs. Joseph A. Tomelleri. As rusty crayfish populations increase in many areas, they are harvested for the regional bait market, biological supply companies, and food. 1983. J. Mather, M.E., and R.A. Stein. University of Minnesota Extension discovers science-based solutions, delivers practical education, and engages Minnesotans to build a better future. 2006. The spots are located on the carapace as though you picked up the crayfish with paint on your forefinger and thumb (Figure 4a). 24(4):603-617. Lodge, D.M. Am. Much of the plant then floats away. Lodge, G.M. 1994. Rusty crayfish (Orconectes rusticus) have invaded much of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Ontario, and portions of 17 other states (Figure 1). Rusty crayfish are an extremely aggressive species. Positive identification requires looking at a number of characteristics and having enough experience to interpret them. Perhaps the lower quality walleye spawning substrate in Lake Metonga compared to other lakes invaded by rusty crayfish allowed the impact on walleye reproduction. While mature males molt (shed their shells) twice per year, females usually only molt once. J. Ecol. Harvest for bait has been going on for over 40 years in Wisconsin. Intensive harvest will not eradicate crayfish, but may help reduce adult populations and minimize some impacts. Competition for refugia in the face of predation risk: a mechanism for species replacement among ecologically similar crayfishes. 2006. 50:14-84. 1993. Rusty crayfish are small crustaceans with long antennae, two pincer claws, and eight legs. They are believed to have been introduced to Colorado by anglers ​​as bait. habitat for invertebrates (which provide food for fish and ducks). Compared to the rusty crayfish, O. virilis can often be distinguished by its claws, which are blue and have distinct white, wart-like bumps. Hein, C.L., B.M. The rusty patches on either side of their body can sometimes identify them. One female carrying viable sperm could begin a new population if released into a suitable environment. Bills, T.D. and J.F. Hein, C.L., M.J. Vander Zanden, and J.J.Magnuson. Morphological and genetic comparisons of golden crayfish, Orconectes luteus, and rusty crayfish, O. rusticus, with range corrections in Iowa and Minnesota. It is important to note that it is not necessary to introduce both a male and a female crayfish to begin a new infestation. The role of size selective predation in the dispersment of Orconectes crayfishes following rusty crayfish invasion. Freshwater Biol. 2001b. Communications Designers: Chris Benson and Scott Robertson Direct and indirect effects of fish predation on the replacement of a native crayfish by an invading congener. He also observed rusty crayfish in other unguarded nests. Mechanisms of impact of an introduced crayfish (Orconectes rusticus) on littoral congeners, snails, and macrophytes. Because impacts and population abundance of rusty crayfish vary in lakes that appear similar, it is not possible to predict what will happen when they invade a new lake. 1994. Sci. Mature rusty crayfish mate in late summer, early fall, or early spring. Jones, P.D. Selective predation, optimal foraging and the predator-prey interaction between fish and crayfish. Perry, W.L., J.L. Diel changes in resource demand: competition and predation in species replacement among crayfishes. Hybrid zone dynamics and species replacement between Orconectes crayfishes in a northern Wisconsin lake. Learn how to report invasive species in Minnesota. The distribution of crayfish in Minnesota. J. Crustacean Biol. 44:591-597. Crayfish production: a reflection of community energetics. Anglers using crayfish as bait are thought to be the primary means of spread. 1988. Ringed Crayfish Fact Sheet (pdf). Aquat. Biological Invasions 8:1621-1628. Spot size and darkness is highly variable across individuals. and W.T. Momot, W.T. Aquat. Contact your local fishery management agency or Minnesota Sea Grant if positive identification is required. How to identify rusty crayfish Rusty crayfish ( Orconectes rusticus (syn. Mature rusty crayfish mate in late summer, early fall, or early spring. Molt ( shed their shells ) twice per year, they are a very rusty crayfish identification species ( Decopoda::... 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2020 rusty crayfish identification