Importation of Crayfish Into Colorado; Public Input Sought Through July 30, 2023

Rusty crayfish are an invasive species of concern in Colorado, first detected within the state in 2009. (Photo by Colorado Department of Wildlife)


Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) is asking the public for their input on importing crayfish into the state. The public comment period is open through July 30, 2023.

Recently, CPW has become aware of a significant market for live crayfish primarily imported into Colorado from outside the state. CPW believes that the major species being imported is the red swamp crayfish, which is currently not allowed to be imported or possessed in Colorado.

Regulations prohibiting the import, transport, and possession of most live crayfish into Colorado have been in place for decades to protect Colorado’s natural aquatic ecosystems and native species. Rusty crayfish, in particular, has been a top invasive concern for CPW since their detection in the state in 2009.

In response to this emerging market for red swamp crayfish, CPW is reviewing current crayfish regulations and seeking input from the public on importing red swamp crayfish into Colorado.

Public members can learn more about the regulation review process and share their feedback at through July 30, 2023.

Crayfish regulations are tentatively scheduled to be discussed at the July 17, 2023, Fish Health Board (FHB) Meeting and the August 24-25, 2023, Parks and Wildlife Commission (PWC) meeting. More information on these meetings will be available on the FHB and PWC meetings pages.

Learn more about CPW’s aquatic management program and threats from aquatic nuisance species.

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