Anyone in Houston or Corpus Christi?

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Cuvier

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Original poster
Feb 26, 2006
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Hey, everyone.

I'm an undergrad at Harvard who'll be in Texas (based near Corpus Christi) from the 19th to the 23rd. I've been conducting research on genetic relationships in freshwater prawns (Macrobrachium) and plan to collect some prawns for genetic analysis at two really interesting sites: (1) Brays/Buffalo Bayou and (2) Lake Corpus Christi.

If you've ever run into prawns or large river shrimp -- either here or anywhere else in Texas, it'd be great to hear from you. So why these two places?

(1) I have photo evidence that Buffalo Bayou and its tributaries (e.g., Brays Bayou) are home to an undocumented non-indigenous species -- Malaysian prawns (Macrobrachium rosenbergii) which presumably escaped from aquaculture. If I could get specimens, they'd represent the first record of this species from Texas (and a possible indication that it's spreading along the Gulf of Mexico).


Mid-sized M. rosenbergii (juveniles look pretty different)

(2) That native prawns are occurring upstream of Wesley Seale Dam at Lake Corpus Christi is pretty remarkable, since their larvae require brackish water for development. In other words, large dams are expected to prevent two-way migration and preclude upstream populations. My TPWD contact in Corpus Christi, however, tells me that anglers are continuing to catch prawns of all sizes in the lake itself -- something strange is going on.


M. carcinus, the largest of the species native to Texas

Both of these have important scientific and management implications, so I'd appreciate any reports or tips.

I'll probably be in Houston for only a single day, so here's the location of a site where M. rosenbergii have been found if anyone's kind enough to leave a minnow trap out overnight:

Brays Bayou -- under the 610 feeder bridge near N. Braeswood, behind Meyergrove apartments and Enterprise Car rental​

Lots of non-native M. rosenbergii as of 2008, but my contact hasn't been back since after Ike.
 
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