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Red Swamp Crayfish Are Now Calling Vicksburg Michigan Home


“Mudbugs” Have Been Found In Vicksburg!

Sunset Lake in Vicksburg has new invasive species that can do a lot of damage to property around the lovely lake, it’s Crayfish. A few weeks ago, a number of them were found on the banks of the lake, but these Mountain Lobsters have been around for more then 115 million years (just not in Michigan)!

Seth Herbst, from the DNR (Department of Natural Resources) and is  an Aquatic Invasive Specialist Coordinator for the Michigan Fisheries Division told

“It’s disconcerting that we have a new invader, but we’re being as vigilant as we possibly can,”

Vicksburg isn’t the only place the Yabbies have been discovered. In Novi Michigan they were found at the Novi retention pond just a few days later.  reported that…

“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.

Now we have them, they are alive and reproducing at a fast pace. Female Crayfish lay 600 eggs per year, that is a lot of Crawdads, burrowing in the lake banks, and that is a problem.

Nick Popoff who is an aquatic species and regulatory affairs manager for the DNR explained…

“Eradicating red swamp crayfish is very difficult. They dig deep burrows near lakes and rivers and can spread quickly over land. 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. “

The great news is that there are NO plans to pave over any of the area’s that the Fresh Water Lobsters have been discovered.

The best explanation for the invasion is that someone had a few Mudbugs to use for bait when fishing and they got away, or that someone owned a few as pets, and let them go in the wild (not a good idea). Now all we can do is be alert, and if we see one, report it to the DNR immediately!

What Do Red Swamp Crayfish Look Like?

  • Deep red in color
  • Bright red, raised spots covering their body and claws
  • A black, wedge-shaped stripe on the top of their abdomen
  • They are 2 to 5 inches in length
  • They resemble miniature lobsters

What Do Red Swamp Crayfish Eat?

  • Plants
  • Insects
  • Snails
  • Juvenile Fish
  • Other Crayfish

Crayfish Are Also Known As…

  • Crawfish
  • Crawdads
  • Fresh Water Lobsters
  • Mountain Lobsters
  • Mudbugs
  • Yabbies

I know many people find them delicious, they just give me the willies!

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