The laboratory of Julian Olden at the University of Washington is seeking your assistance in creating a new database of known crayfish occurrences in the Pacific Northwest. Recently, the states of Washington, Oregon, Montana, and Idaho, and the province of British Columbia has witnessed the introduction of a number of non-native crayfish into their fresh waters. Included in these are: red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii), northern crayfish (Orconectes virilis) and rusty crayfish (Orconectes rusticus).
The Olden lab have been documenting the occurrence of these crayfish species and others (including the native signal crayfish, Pacifastacus leniusculus) during the past 3 years (see publications listed below). During this time it has come to our attention that many state agencies, NGOs and tribes have recorded the occurrence of crayfish species over the years. Unfortunately much of this information remains in personal computers, field data books or in unpublished reports. There is tremendous value in creating and maintaining a central repository of distributional data on invasive species (see Lee et al. 2008), and consequently we asking for your help in our quest to collate all that is known about the distribution of non-native crayfish in streams, rivers, lakes and wetlands of the Pacific Northwest.
Please take the time to complete this short 5 minute survey. At a minimum, we are requesting information on the species, location (lat, long) and date of capture of species. Additional information is requested, but is optional.
A brief identification guide for non-native and native crayfish species in the PNW is available at:
Thank you so much for your time in this important matter. Once we have compiled all the information we will deposit the data in the USGS Non-indigenous Aquatic Species Database and make it freely available on the Olden laboratory website.
School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences
University of Washington
Larson, E.R., C.A. Busack, J.D. Anderson, and J.D Olden. 2010. Widespread distribution of the non-native northern crayfish (Orconectes virilis) in the Columbia River Basin. Northwest Science 84:108-111.
Olden, J.D., Adams, J.W. and E.R. Larson. 2009. First record of Orconectes rusticus (Girard, 1852) (Decapoda, Cambaridae) west of the Great Continental Divide in North America. Crustaceana 82:1347-1351.
Larson, E.R. and J.D. Olden. 2008. Do schools and golf courses represent emerging pathways for crayfish invasions? Aquatic Invasions 3:465-468.
Lee, H., Reusser, D.A, Olden, J.D., Smith, S.S, Graham, J., Burkett, V., Dukes, J.S., Piorkowsli, R.J., and J. McPhedran. 2008. Establishing integrated monitoring and information systems for predicting and managing aquatic invasive species in a changing climate. Conservation Biology 22: 575-584.