How to take care of a crayfish


Guest videopost by Lena Bruno (made entirely on an ipad with imovie)

6 Responses to “How to take care of a crayfish”

  1. Emmett Duffy says:

    This is awesome – the kid’s a natural! (Wonder where that comes from . . .)

  2. Lena Bruno says:

    Thank you Emmett, I even got to bring a crayfish home too!

  3. Robyn Draheim says:

    Hey Lena,

    Nice work. It looks like you and your class really learned a lot about crayfish and did some really neat projects too. (The cardboard crayfish was very impressive).

    I’m curious if your class talked about non-native or invasive species while you studied your crayfish? I work on invasive species issues and we’ve found that lots and lots of students in the US study crayfish in their classrooms and many of them are looking at the very same species of crayfish you did (Procambarus clarkii or the red swamp crayfish) but, like your crayfish, they aren’t native to states where they are being studied. The problem comes when many classrooms release their crayfish into nearby rivers and streams at the end of their project and this isn’t good for the native wildlife.

    We’re trying to figure out how best to keep kids like you able to learn all sorts of neat stuff about crayfish, aquatic plants and other fascinating organisms without creating new problems for our ecosystems. One of the biggest problems we are dealing with is that invasive species like the red swamp crayfish and anacharis (or Egeria densa – my guess as to the name of the aquatic plant you had in the classroom) are much much easier to keep healthy in a classroom than any of our native species are.

    To keep a long post short-ish, I was wondering if you had an opinion on this. We get a lot of feedback from teachers (most of whom don’t know that they are using non-native species) but I thought that student feedback might be especially informative in this case.



    • John Bruno says:

      Hi Robyn, Ill check in with Lena about this, but I suspect she and her excellent teacher are aware of this. The class unit ended yesterday and the remaining specimens (hard to imagine anything so small could stay alive in a third grad classroom for two months) were assigned homes with students via lottery! Lena – sadly – didn’t win one… She came home yesterday distraught. But things looked up when her friend Leo called and offered her his! We promptly ran over and got “Simon”, brought him him home, and made him a nice cozy place to live out his exotic-species-days: right between the leopard gecko and the goldfish on the kitchen counter. The cat loves him!

      • Robyn Draheim says:

        Thanks John,

        I love Lena’s enthusiasm for the crayfish unit. That’s what we’re really trying to preserve while trying to negate both the unintentional and well-intentioned introduction of these species.


        ps. I don’t spend all my time prowling the internet for crayfish stories. Emmett used to be one of my professors and I visit the site occasionally to remind me of my marine past…

    • Lena says:

      Dear Robyn,
      My teacher is good with creek animals, and decided that my class should learn about crayfish. So at the end, I asked him why can’t we let them go in our creek. He said that the crayfish we were studying are not native, and will eat the native crayfish. So we did a lottery and some students got to take home a crayfish, and keep it as a pet. We have a creek at our school, and we catch some crayfish for the day, and look at them and study them, then we let them go. My teacher taught me the difference between crayfish that live here, and crayfish that don’t live here.

      p.s. you used big words.

Leave a Reply