Photo credit: California Department of Fish and Game
A burrowing crab with white-tipped, hairy-looking claws
Unknown. It was possibly released accidentally in ship ballast water or deliberately to establish a fishery.
Chinese mitten crab became established in the San Francisco Bay in the late 1980s, where it has continued to spread and cause a range of problems. In 2006, it was found in the Chesapeake Bay. Since then, a number of individuals have been found around the Bay, but evidence of the species being established has yet to be found.
They foul fisheries by stealing bait from traps and fishing lines, clog power plant water intake pipes, cause stream bank collapse due to innumerable burrows, and alter aquatic ecosystems by competition with native species.
In the Chesapeake Bay region, efforts are underway to educate the public about the crab and enlist help in reporting any suspected discoveries.
Go here >>.