More news of invasive non-native signal crayfish on the Itchen
Posted on July 15, 2014
Dr. Ben Rushbrook of the Hants & IOW Wildlife Trust reports that a dead signal crayfish has been found close to the River Arle, a tributary of the Itchen, raising concerns that there is a population of live signals at the top of the Itchen.
The upper Itchen is home to one of the few remaining populations of our native white clawed crayfish, whose numbers have plummeted as a result of ‘crayfish plague’ — a disease carried by signal crayfish. Signal crayfish are also very destructive of the wider river ecology and habitat, so it is important to prevent them becoming established on the Itchen.
Any anglers seeing what they believe to be signals on the Itchen and its tributaries please report the sighting to Ben at Ben.Rushbrook@hiwwt.org.uk — an accompanying photograph would help to verify any sighting.
This news further underlines the need for anglers to remember biosecurity — check, clean & dry your kit!
More information on signal crayfish and bioseciurity is available on the WTT website under the Invasive Non-Native Species section: http://www.wildtrout.org/content/index