The Red Swamp Crayfish is on Michigan's Invasive Species watch list and is prohibited. It looks like a small lobster in a dark red color with elongated claws and a bony exoskeleton. They can be 2-5 inches in length and like to burrow into the substrate of freshwater habitats.
The Red Swamp Crayfish are very aggressive toward native crayfish species and compete for food and territory. They also reduce the amount of food and territory available for native amphibians, invertebrates & juvenile fish. Their burrowing and foraging can also cause cyanobacteria blooms and eutrophic conditions.
If you see the Red Swamp Crayfish in your local waterways, report it to the DNR Fisheries division here >