Anglers, crayfish trappers, and other outdoor recreationists are asked to help the Wyoming Game and Fish Department protect our outstanding fisheries by reporting any rusty crayfish found in the Laramie River watershed. Rusty crayfish (Orconectes rusticus) are native to the Ohio River Basin, but have invaded many other states and Canadian provinces. They were first discovered in Wyoming in 2006 after being illegally introduced into private ponds and then escaping into Wagonhound Creek, a tributary of the North Platte River. Despite the Game and Fish Department’s early eradication efforts, the species has recently been found in the Laramie River as a result of another illegal introduction.
Rusty crayfish are 3-5 inches long, with a grayish-green body and easily-identifiable reddish fingerprint-like spots on each side of the body just in front of the tail. If you find a rusty crayfish, or catch one in a trap, take a photo of it and either return it to the water or kill it. Then contact the Laramie Game and Fish Department at (307) 745-4046 or firstname.lastname@example.org.