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Amazing Facts About Aquatic Invaders

We have been telling you about aquatic invasive species (AIS) all summer and what you can do to slow the spread of these nasty plants and animals. Now how about some simple and sometimes amazing facts about these aquatic invaders?

Silver and Bighead Carp

  • These species have the ability to leap 10 feet when startled.
  • These two species are the most important fish, worldwide in terms of total aquaculture (grown on fish farms for food) production.
  • One bighead carp can produce over 2,000,000 eggs.
  • In an effort to make the fish more appealing to Americans, the fish has been renamed silverfin or Kentucky tuna.

Zebra Mussels

  • These freshwater mussels were originally native to the lakes of southern Russia and the Ukraine.
  • They have a lifespan of 4-5 years.
  • An adult female zebra mussel can produce 30,000-40,000 eggs in each reproductive cycle and over 1 million eggs a year.
  • Most zebra mussel predators don’t live in North America. An adult crayfish can eat 100 zebra mussels a day. Smallmouth bass also are a predator.

Rusty Crayfish

  • Their name derives from the two rusty sots on the sides of their back.
  • Typically larger than other crayfish species and can grow to over 4 inches from their eyes to the tail.
  • Will displace other native crayfish species.
  • Females can carry up to 200 fertilized eggs under their tail.