How to Counter Invasive Fish Species

Team: 86

School: Media Arts Charter School

Area of Science: Biology

Interim: My Supercomputing project is about invasive fish species and how to counter them. More specifically my project focuses on the Rusty Crayfish. The Rusty Crayfish is an invasive species of crayfish that originated from Illinois, it has been used by fisherman as bait, allowing it to spread to most of North America (Rusty Crayfish. (n.d.). Retrieved from Rusty Crayfish can take over a river or lake very quickly due to the fact that a female can lay 80-575 eggs at a time ( One of the main reasons they survive is due to the fact that the Rusty Crayfish is very aggressive, snapping its claws at fish that could threaten them (Web, A. D. (n.d.). Critter Catalog. Retrieved from Due to their high metabolism they are able to eat twice as much as its other crayfish brethren, and it eats pretty much anything it can find (Rusty Crayfish: A Nasty Invader. (n.d.). Retrieved from They eat fish, important plants, fish eggs, crayfish, and bacteria (Invasive Rusty Crayfish (U.S. National Park Service). (n.d.). Retrieved from
I plan on programming a simulation where I can introduce crayfishes and special fish which are capable of combating the invasive nature of the Rusty Crayfish, while also not becoming invasive itself. In this simulation there will be different variables you will be able to affect, including but not limited to; initial fish numbers, fish introduced per month, and the attributes of specific fish. I am going to attempt to see which solution will help effectively combat the Rusty Crayfish, and keep the fish alive.
I have got a lot of info on the Rusty Crayfish, I even know the specific areas they are in. My simulation is coming along nicely. All the basic foundation is done and I have learned quite a lot about Netlogo. I have added Fish, Bass, Crayfish, and the Rusty Crayfish. The simulation is based off of Conchas Lake, I even got the accurate size in acres, and have simulated that in Netlogo.
I expect that the Crayfish will be able to combat the Rusty Crayfish and keep them from killing off all the fish. The bass fish will also be able to keep the normal Crayfish from taking over the place as well. I am expecting to get a good balance between the species, or even better, get rid of the Rusty Crayfish altogether.

Mentor: Creighton Edington

Team Members:

  Jacob Bowden

Sponsoring Teacher: Creighton Edington

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