Barriers against invasive crayfish species in natural waters and fish passes - practical experience.
The spread of non-indigenous crayfish species poses a threat to local populations of crayfish as well as to other fauna and flora across Europe and around the world. Several methods have been used in attempt to reduce their numbers and stop their further spread. Crayfish barriers are the best way to stop the non-anthropogenic spread of established invasive crayfish populations. Up to now there are very few published papers regarding crayfish barrier design and practical experience in construction. For the last seven years, we have optimised construction and functionality of crayfish barriers, tested various building materials and planned construction of many barriers across Switzerland. In this article, we highlight our experience, share the acquired knowledge and present the newest findings regarding considerations, which must be made when planning a barrier to stop the upstream movement of non-indigenous crayfish species. From our experience we conclude that crayfish barriers work in preventing the movement of invasive species if certain factors are taken into account. Barrier design and construction must be specific for each project, because the size of the watercourse, flow velocity, bank conditions, existing constructions and accessibility, all change the way a barrier should be set-up.