Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Evaluation of five trap designs for removal of invasive red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii Girard, 1852) in southern Michigan: catch per unit effort, body size, and sex biases.

Abstract

Trapping and removing invasive crayfish is one of the most common forms of control, however gear-specific biases can limit effectiveness of such methods. We evaluated five trapping gears (Gee's minnow traps [GMT], pyramid traps [PYR], artificial refuge traps [ART], additional partition refuge traps [APART], and juvenile traps [JUV]) for their effectiveness in a Procambarus clarkii Girard, 1852 (red swamp crayfish) removal effort among four Southern Michigan ponds between May and October 2019. Our objectives were (1) determine which gear(s) produce the highest catch per unit effort (CPUE); (2) assess gears for body size and sex biases; (3) ascertain the degree of seasonality in gear-specific catches and biases. We found that baited GMT and PYR traps substantially outperformed the ART, APART, and JUV traps with respect to CPUE. However, catches of refuge-style traps trended positively over the season. Body size biases were prevalent, with GMT and PYR traps consistently recording individuals > 30 mm carapace length. The ART and APART traps caught relatively smaller individuals but trended towards capturing larger individuals later in the season. We observed no sex biases or biases between Form 1 and Form 2 males among the gears. Our findings support employing multiple gears for crayfish removals but demonstrated that baited traps can remove more crayfish than unbaited traps (on a CPUE basis) and both can capture body size trends by accounting for the timing of capture. Further, the lack of sex bias suggests any of these commonly used traps can be used to broadly sample females or male reproductive forms. Based on our results and recommendations, the Michigan adaptive response strategy has adopted a combination GMT-APART strategy to maximize CPUE while also targeting a wide range of crayfish sizes.