Wild populations of the invasive Australian red claw crayfish Cherax quadricarinatus (Crustacea, Decapoda) near the northern coast of Jalisco, Mexico: a new fishing and profitable resource
The red claw crayfish Cherax quadricarinatus is native to freshwater habitats of northern Australia and Papua New Guinea. Its high reproductive and adaptive capacity in different environments allows it to be cultivated, where escaped individuals have established wild populations in countries far from their natural range. In the late 90's and beginning of the 21st century, this crayfish was introduced illegally along the coast of southern Jalisco. Mismanagement led to escape and dispersion. Currently there are wild crayfish in the Cajón de Peñas Reservoir and surrounding streams in northern Jalisco, Mexico. The aim of this study was to evaluate the presence of C. quadricarinatus in fisheries in this area of Jalisco and analyze its importance in generating economic benefits for fishermen, comparing these results with those of the fishery for M. americanum, whose fishery is traditional. To catch specimens, traps were set for 24 h in the La Sanja Stream and the Cajón de Peñas Reservoir. The results of the survey showed that C. quadrica rinatus is an important part of the crustacean catch in this area: 32% of the total catch in the stream corresponded to C. quadricarinatus and the rest to M. americanum. While 85% of the catch in the dam corresponded to C. quadricarinatus, only 15% referred to M. americanum. Crayfish fishing in the reservoir is now an important part of the productive activity of local families dependent on fishing. The ecological consequences of wild crayfish proliferation remain to be studied.