28 July 2007

It's a much better morning with plenty of sun and fluffy white cloud driven on by a stiff westerly breeze. It still looks a bit showery, but conditions for fishing should be good on a falling river sheltered from the wind.  It looks as if we shall avoid the heavy rain forecast for tomorrow so Sunday fishing should be OK.

I said yesterday that I would talk a bit more about a new threat to our native crayfish.  This comes in the form of another alien species of crayfish the marbled crayfish.  This creature not only carries the dreaded plague that has so devastated our native species, but it is hermaphrodite so it only takes one animal to begin a population.  The problem is further compounded by the fact that the beast can breed at 8 weeks so it does not take long for it to overwhelm all suitable habitats and drive out any native population present. 

It would seem that despite import being illegal the animal has entered the country via the aquarium trade and is being released because it soon overpopulates any aquarium tank

So far all recorded sightings of this pest have been in the far south, but like the red signal, once established in the wild it will not take long for it to colonise all suitable habitats.  It would be prudent to keep a close watch for any suspected populations and the info below may help in identifying it.

It's illegal to import this creature or release it into the wild so if you do come across it it must be humanely destroyed.

Procambarus sp.

Family Cambariidae

Origin: America

Recent Distribution:

Commercial Name: Marble Crayfish, Speckled Crayfish.

Size: up to 10 cm

Adequate Environment: 100 litres aquarium, neutral pH

Temperature: 18 to 26

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