Water Quality and the Rusty Crayfish
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The Rusty Crayfish (Orconectes rusticus) is an invasive species that is native to Ohio but has spread all over the continental United States. As it has spread, it has outcompeted other species of crayfish and other organisms. This has lead to a decline in the species native to the areas where the Rusty has invaded. Because of the continuous spread of the Rusty, the goal of this study was to study two different bodies of water (that have the Rusty crayfish in them) to see if there was a different in the water parameters. The bodies of water that were studied were Lake Michigan and the Pike River, which is a river that runs through Racine and Kenosha counties in Wisconsin, United States. The goal was to determine which location is closest to the ideal conditions for the Rusty crayfish to reach its realized niche. Knowing which area is better for the Rusty, I thought that it would be helpful to focus on preventing that area from getting more individuals of the Rusty and use that body of water as a place to start preventing the Rusty from spreading to other waterways near it. The data was collected on three different days in three different months. The results showed that the bodies of water were more similar than different. However, with a cautious conclusion, the Pike River had better water quality parameters than Lake Michigan. This study showed that there is more water quality conditions in common with the Pike River and Lake Michigan, than originally thought.