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72K Invasive Crayfish And Counting. Even In A Pandemic, An Amateur Trapper Carries On

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April 25, 2020

Ventura County resident Joel Goldes is sitting beside a creek about a half mile from his house, getting ready to check his crayfish traps, his dogs waiting patiently on the opposite bank.

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Joel's been making these visits every day for 10 years, and the coronavirus pandemic hasn't stopped him. If anything, he now has more time on his hands and says he visits two or three times a day.

What's the point, you ask? These crayfish are invasive, and they're throwing off the balance of red-legged frogs, mosquitoes and other denizens of the local ecosystem. So Joel captures them and donates them to wildlife rehabilitation centers, where they feed recovering raccoons.

"[The crayfish] reproduce very frequently in this moderate climate. So usually they reproduce once a year. Here they're reproducing at least three times a year. In about three years I've removed more than 72,000 invasive crayfish from this creek."

Watch Joel's video diary above, and...

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