GFT are presently investigating the distribution of North American Signal Crayfish across Galloway and are interested in hearing reports of any recent sightings.
North American Signal Crayfish are a non-native invasive species introduced into Britain in the 1970s. They are a major threat to freshwater ecosystems and can potentially be spread throughout different waters. Signal Crayfish are omnivores and are known to prey on juvenile fish, fish eggs, aquatic invertebrates and may modify habitats by grazing on a range of vegetation species. They are also known to burrow into riverbanks which may contribute to habitat degradation. In burns, large crayfish often live under over hanging banks excluding the larger trout that typically reside there thus increasing trout vulnerability to predation. Impacts on fish appear to be greatest in running waters but there are also concerns regarding stillwater environments.
North American Signal Crayfish are present in Dumfries and Galloway. We are looking for information on any recent reports of crayfish populations in Galloway to help understand where they are at present, their impacts on fish populations and to direct future investigative surveys. There is a well-known population in the Dee catchment, particularly around Loch Ken. GFT are interested in how much they have spread throughout the Dee system in recent years. We are also interested please to hear of any possible reports from other places in Galloway too (especially within the last 10 years). It was back in 2009 when the last detailed mapping was undertaken. We have our own records of where we have caught them electrofishing but we are keen to get reports from any other sources please. These could be possible sightings, caught during angling or predator kills.
We would appreciate any information please regarding the location, year and general description of the record e.g. was the crayfish caught or spotted in the water. Any crayfish reports would beappreciated, even if very vague. All information sources will be kept confidential. Please send any information by email to Kacie Jess at firstname.lastname@example.org , private message us on our Facebook page or just call if it is easier. Thank you.
On Friday morning Jess, our Prioritised Salmon Habitat Restoration Officer, was joined along the banks of the River Dee by the enthusiastic pupils of Kells Primary School. This term the pupils of Kells Primary are learning all about Scottish nature.