Habitat associations and biotic interactions of invasive Rusty Crayfish (Faxonius rusticus) to inform risk assessment and management of shallow glacial lakes at the invasion front.
August 2022 - August 2025
The invasive Rusty Crayfish has caused tremendous ecological and economic damage in glacial lakes in the Upper Midwest. Its range has recently expanded south to shallow-eutrophic lakes of the Upper Mississippi Basin. The first lake-dwelling population in Iowa was recently discovered in Storm Lake, Iowa, but little is known about the relative abundance, distribution of Rusty Crayfish within Storm Lake or surrounding natural lakes, or how its introduction will affect water quality populations of aquatic flora and fauna. Therefore, we propose a project to assess the distribution and habitat and biotic associations of Rusty Crayfish within Storm Lake and other shallow eutrophic lakes within southern portions of the Upper Mississippi River Basin. This research will inform vulnerability assessments for early detection and management of the species.