Rusty Crayfish Found in Bone Lake and Fox Creek

Below is a Bone Lake E-News recently sent to the Bone Lake Community on September 8th:

Rusty Crayfish an Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) has been discovered in Bone Lake.

On Friday, August 31 DNR fishery specialists Joe Cunningham and Craig Roesler were electro shocking Fox Creek near Bunyan Ave., just east of Jonzys Market. They found 15 different species of fish and a significant number of Rusty Crawfish.

On Saturday September 1 Joe and Bob Boyd, Bone Lake AIS Coordinator, netted more Rusty Crayfish where County Road G crosses Fox Creek.

On Sunday, September 2, Rustys were netted on both sides of the Fox Creek culvert that runs under County Road I near the south east end of Bone Lake and a single Rusty Crayfish was netted at the opening of Fox Creek where it leaves Bone Lake.

Bob Boyd met with Jeremy Williamson, of the Polk County Land and Water Resources Dept. to show him the Rusty Crayfish he had captured. Jeremy confirmed that they were the invasive Rusty Crayfish (Orconectes rusticus).

Polk County Land and Water Resources along with DNR personnel will assist us in estimating the population of Rustys in the lake and recommend any future action. The future impact on Bone lake from Rustys is unknown.

You can help us estimate the population. Beginning in September, crayfish natives and invasive Rustys will move into deeper water for the winter. Take a look along your shoreline for crayfish and see if you can identify Rusty Crayfish there. For identification keys and a downloadable brochure, visit the Bone Lake website Rusty Crayfish page. Keep in mind that we have many native crawfish that are not harmful and should be protected. If you find a Rusty put it in a container with lake water and call Bob Boyd, 715-553-0629, Cell.

There is no significant action that we can take at this time to prevent the spread of Rustys in Bone Lake, but we can take measures to prevent the spread of Rustys to other lakes. Be sure to clean your boat and equipment according to Clean Boats Clean Waters (CBCW) protocol when leaving Bone Lake and before entering another body of water.

AIS threats to Bone Lake have not and will not go away. Our many volunteers in the CBCW and Citizen Lake Monitoring teams are doing their best to prevent, monitor, and discover AIS in Bone Lake.

Ask yourself what you are doing to help. Visit the Bone Lake website invasive species pages.

Be informed. Educate yourself about AIS, and join us in protecting Bone Lake.

– Bob Boyd, AIS Coordinator