What is the Crayfish Corps?
Why Are the Rusty Crayfish Bad?
The rusty crayfish are considered a non-native, invasive species in the park, and throughout Pennsylvania. Originally from the Ohio River Basin, this crayfish has been transported to new environments throughout the northeast primarily by bait fishermen, biological supply houses, aquaculture, and the pond and aquarium trade.
The rusty crayfish is bigger, more aggressive, and eats up to twice as much as native crayfish in Valley Creek. They are able to eliminate all other crayfish species through direct competition for food and shelter and increasing the susceptibility of native crayfish to predators. Rusty crayfish also may reduce the amount of aquatic vegetation, reduce aquatic insect populations and ultimately negatively affect large predators such as trout.
Crayfish Corps Resource Brief 2017The Crayfish Corps Resource Brief 2017 (PDF 1.2MB) is a document that reports on the impact of this volunteer program on crayfish populations in the Valley Creek.
How Can I Help?
Crayfish Corps is active between May and August in order to catch the most rusty crayfish and to allow the stream time to rest. Crayfish removal is accomplished using hand nets and participants should be prepared to get in the stream and get wet!
All ages are welcome and park staff will provide necessary training and equipment including nets and a limited number of hip boots. Participants should wear their own closed-toe water shoes if possible. Receive a Crayfish Corps button the first time you participate and earn a Crayfish Corps t-shirt after participating three times!
Crayfish Corps has finished for the 2018 season. Please check back later for 2019 dates.
Can't make a Saturday? There may be weekday opportunities available. Check with our Natural Resources staff at the email below.
Last updated: April 3, 2019