Signal Crayfish - color variations

Scott Lewis

Latin name: Pacifastacus leniusculus

Signal Crayfish are native to the Pacific Northwest and are found in a diversity of environments through their distribution.  In Lake Billy Chinook, a hydropower reservoir on the Deschutes River of central Oregon, Signal Crayfish quickly took advantage of the artificial habitat.  The Lake Billy Chinook population has historically produced the largest annual commercial harvest in Oregon for several decades.  Because little was known about this crayfish population, the research project was developed to characterize life history and population dynamics, document historic harvest, and develop management recommendations of this exploited resource.  This was a cooperative project with Portland General Electric, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Did you know? Crayfish play an important and unique in all ecosystems they inhabit due to their opportunistic, omnivorous, and multi-trophic feeding habits. 


Lewis, S. D. and H. F. Horton.  Life history and population dynamics of the signal crayfish in Lake Billy Chinook, Oregon.  Freshwater Crayfish 11:34-53.