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Crews Begin Moving Endangered Crayfish Near Concord Road

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Crews Begin Moving Endangered Crayfish Near Concord Road

CREATED Jun 2, 2014
by Chris Conte

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. - A team of biologists began work on Monday morning, to move hundreds of endangered crayfish that are holding up part of a massive construction project in Brentwood.

The endangered Nashville Crayfish only call Mill Creek in Brentwood home and until June 1, they were preventing the widening of two bridges meant to ease congestion on Concord Road.

"Whenever there’s an endangered species involved we have to minimize our impact as much as possible," explained Dennis Crumby who is a biologist for TDOT.

Crumby, along with a half dozen other TDOT workers armed with buckets and fishing nets, spent most of Monday combing through the bottom of Mill Creek looking for the endangered crustaceans. The team would lift up rocks, then scoop up the tiny clawed creatures into their nets and place them into buckets so they could be moved upstream.

"We’re going make at least one pass through here maybe let it clear then try again," Crumby said as we waded through the muddy waters of the creek.

TDOT is adding an extra lane of traffic on Concord Road between Sunset Road and Nolensville Road, but because mating season for the crayfish ran from October through May, they couldn't begin widening the bridge over Mill Creek until June 1.

Crumby said that by moving as many creatures as possible upstream, they are keeping them out of harm’s way.

"The reason it's on the endangered species list, it's not just because the crayfish is only found here, but because it also has the potential that if there was a problem in the watershed, a chemical release or toxic spill it could go the entire length of the stream and wipe out the species," he added.

According to Crumby, more than 200 endangered Nashville Crayfish were successfully moved on Monday morning.

The entire project should be done in the next 24 - 30 months.

Email: cconte@newschannel5.com