The East Gippsland region of Victoria is a difficult region to survey with a limited window of opportunity. In summer it’s too hot and subject to bushfires and closed forests. In winter it’s too cold with the crayfish retiring to their burrows and difficult to access. This leaves the spring and autumn crayfishing seasons.
The new research season in East Gippsland, Victoria commenced in March 2016 when the ACP teams commenced surveying. The first survey was of the upper Murray River and tributaries of the upper Snowy River (The Little, Suggan Buggan and Buchan Rivers). Team members Rob McCormack and Craig Burnes surveyed these rivers with great success. We were collecting specimens of a species we lovingly refer to as Euastacus neocrassus. It’s very similar to Euastacus crassus found further north.
The object of our research is to collect specimens and compare the genetics. We have specimens of Euastacus crassus from further north and the ACT plus the new population we discovered in the Shoalhaven River drainage. Add in these new ones from the upper Murray and the Upper Snowy and Tambo rivers will make an interesting DNA analysis and may lead to the redescription of E crassus or the description of new species. Stay tuned for further updates.