Sunday, 23 September 2012

Crayfish invade Hampstead Heath


But authorities have been forced to issue a new warning following reports that an invasive breed of crayfish has swamped the open-air pools and begun nipping swimmers in intimate places.
It is a particularly sensitive problem in the Men’s Pond, where many bathers prefer to swim in the nude.
The culprits are Red Swamp Crayfish, a non-native species known for their aggressive behaviour and long claws. First spotted in the north London park around 20 years ago, they are now multiplying at such a rate that around 5,000 of them are said to be colonising the ponds.
Doug Slade, chairman of the Hampstead Heath Anglers Association, said one of his members reported catching 180 of the crayfish in one hour.
“They just breed and breed and breed - they eat all the fish in the ponds and there is nothing we can do to stop them.

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