You are receiving this letter because you have expressed previous interest in the regulation concerning crayfish sales that was implemented by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) in March 2012. This regulation was implemented to help contain the serious and growing problem of invasive crayfish in Missouri that threatens our aquatic ecosystems and fisheries. Following many months of collecting and evaluating additional input from stakeholders, MDC has considered an amendment to the regulation. This letter is intended to notify interested stakeholders.
MDC considered the following changes during the annual review of the Wildlife Code of Missouri on Wednesday February 13, 2013;
· Only the Virile (or "Northern") Crayfish (Orconectes virilis) may be purchased for re-sale or sold for use as live bait. They may not be imported into the state.
· It also corrects the common names of crayfish in the approved Crustaceans list.
o Northern crayfish to Virile (Northern) crayfish (Orconectes virilis)
o White River crayfish to White River crawfish (Procambarus acutus)
o Red Swamp crayfish to Red Swamp crawfish (Procambarus clarkii)
o Papershell crayfish to Calico (Papershell) (Orconectes immunis)
The Regulations Committee heard presentations from Dr. Charlie Rabeni (retired University of Missouri professor), Kelly Smith (Farm Bureau) and Holly Neill (Missouri Stream Team Watershed Coalition) regarding the proposed amendment to the crayfish regulation.
In light of new information that was presented to the Regulations Committee and information received by the Department prior to last Wednesdays meeting, Deputy Director and Regulations Committee Chairman Tom Draper postponed the vote on the proposed regulation. He indicated that he was instructed by the Director and the Missouri Conservation Commission to thoroughly vet this issue before moving forward a recommendation to the Director and Commission. He indicated the Regulations Committee would develop a recommendation by mid-summer.
Again, we would like to thank you for your comments. If you have any questions or comments please contact our Public Involvement Coordinator Michele Baumer at 573-522-4115 Ext. 3350 or at Michele.Baumer@mdc.mo.gov.