(WFRV) – Looking to import some crayfish to Wisconsin ahead of a crayfish boil? Well, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is reminding residents that all non-native crayfish are illegal to have in Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) posted on its Facebook page reminding residents to check with the state’s invasive species laws before having a crayfish boil.

The DNR says that all live, non-native crayfish are illegal to have in Wisconsin. Except for rusty crayfish, which reportedly can be harvested and eaten as long as none escape.

Officials ask that people only use frozen non-native crayfish, rusty crayfish harvested from Wisconsin waterbodies or one of six native crayfish species for crayfish boils. Additionally, harvesting wild Wisconsin crayfish requires a small game or fishing license, according to the DNR.

Back in October 2022, the first criminal convictions were done under Wisconsin invasive species law. The investigation started back in 2020 after multiple grocery stores were offering live red swamp crayfish for sale.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice ended up charging Louisiana Crawfish Company with 15 counts of intentionally transporting, possessing or transferring invasive species. The court ended up ordering the company to pay $34,380 in fines, fees and assessments.

Our hope is the outcome of this case can serve as a deterrent to other wholesale distributors to keep invasive red swamp crayfish out of Wisconsin.

Lt. Warden Robert Stroess, DNR Administrator of Commercial Fish and Aquatic Species in Trade Enforcement.

No additional information was provided.