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Tiny Titans of the Stream: Missouri’s Crayfish

Presentation by Bob DiStefano.
Join Bob DiStefano for a deep dive into crayfish life history and the efforts to protect this important Missouri species.  

Photo courtesy of Missouri Department of Conservation

Time and Place

Tuesday, April 9, 2024
7:00 pm

New Venue! Riechmann Indoor Pavilion, Stephens Lake Park
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Presentation by Bob DiStefano

Tuesday, April 9th at 7PM

The Riechmann Indoor Pavilion will open at 6 p.m. You are welcome to bring your own food and drinks (including alcoholic beverages) to enjoy before and during the presentation.

Hosted by Missouri River Relief

Photo courtesy of the Missouri Department of Conservation

Crayfish, crawdads, mud bugs, crawly bottoms…whatever you call them, there’s no denying the huge role these tiny crustaceans play in Missouri’s waterways. Join Bob DiStefano for a deep dive into crayfish life history and the efforts to protect this important Missouri species.

Missouri harbors more than 40 species of crayfish, and until a few decades ago, no one knew how crucial they were to the Missouri food web. Did you know that even bears and great horned owls eat them? In turn, crayfish, eat many different things — insects, fish, plants, decaying wood and leaves, as well as microscopic plants and animals.

Understanding the life history, abundance, distribution, and habitat needs of crayfish is essential for conservation efforts.

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Bob DiStefano (center) accepting the Conservation Federation of Missouri’s Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award

Bob DiStefano is a Resource Scientist (Retiring) for the Missouri Department of Conservation. When DiStefano began this work in 1990, only about 25 crayfish species were known to live in Missouri. Bob is highly regarded as a leader in the international crayfish research community because of his efforts and involvement in crayfish conservation.




  • Riechmann Indoor Pavilion, Stephen’s Lake Park – 2300 E. Walnut St. Columbia, MO 65201
  • From I-70, take exit 128 to U.S. 63 South.
  • Using second to right lane, follow signs to the on-ramp for U.S. 63 South.
  • Once on U.S. 63 South, you’ll be taking the first exit for Broadway/Hwy WW.
  • Take a right on Broadway for .9 miles.
  • Take a right onto Old 63 headed north.
  • Take a right onto E. Walnut St.
  • Riechmann Indoor Pavilion will be on your right. Park in front.

Resources & Links

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The Big Muddy Speaker Series in Columbia

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The Big Muddy Speaker Series also takes place in St. Charles.

The views and opinions expressed by our presenters do not necessarily reflect the view or policies of Missouri River Relief, the Big Muddy Speaker Series or any of the partners that support this public forum. The Big Muddy Speaker Series believes that hearing diverse perspectives is a crucial building block for an informed public.