Red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) are native to the southern United States and commonly used in crayfish boils. They are also a prohibited invasive species in Minnesota, meaning that a person may not possess, import, purchase, sell, propagate, transport or introduce them to a free-living state without a permit. This regulation applies whether the crayfish are living or dead. It is also illegal to import any species of live crayfish or crayfish eggs without a permit. This page describes options for individuals interested in hosting crayfish boils or other forms of crayfish consumption.
Utilize the regulated invasive species, rusty crayfish
Rusty crayfish (Orconectes rusticus) is a regulated invasive species that is already in a free-living state in Minnesota. It is illegal to introduce regulated invasive species to public waters, though they are legal to possess, sell, buy and transport. A resident angling license and permit from the DNR are required to harvest crayfish for sale. For a list of individuals permitted to harvest crayfish for sale in Minnesota, please contact Sean Sisler (651-259-5213, [email protected]). A person may harvest rusty crayfish, provided that they follow Crayfish Harvest Regulations and do not move the crayfish to other waterbodies.
Purchase native crayfish raised through aquaculture
Native crayfish may be available for purchase from licensed private aquaculture businesses in Minnesota. A list of licensed businesses is available for $7 through Minnesota's Bookstore. Call (651-297-3000) or email Minnesota’s Bookstore to request the list.
Apply for a permit to import dead, frozen or pre-cooked red swamp crayfish
Complete and submit the Prohibited Invasive Species Permit Application Form. The permit and application are free of charge. Submit your completed application by email or mail to your local DNR invasive species specialist. You can find the invasive species specialist in your area from the list of contacts and map on our website.
Questions? Contact us!
Chelsey Blanke ([email protected]), 651-259-5350, aquatic invasive species pathways and plans analyst.