Opposition emerges to Missouri crawfish rule

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri proposal to restrict imports and sales of live crawfish for use as fish bait is drawing opposition.

The state Conservation Commission approved the regulation last year. It was scheduled to take effect in March, but has now been suspended until September.

Conservation officials say the rule is intended to keep non-native crawfish out of streams, lakes and other waterways where they could threaten native species as well as ecosystems.

The regulation would allow imports of live crawfish for food and research, but ban their use for bait and stocking ponds.

Opponents include the Missouri Aquaculture Association and Missouri Farm Bureau, which calls the proposal “overkill.” Some opponents are circulating a petition to block the rule.

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