An angling group has slammed a fishermen who boasted about putting American signal crayfish from Loch Ken into surrounding waterways.
Moving the invasive shellfish is a crime and damages fish stocks.
John Stott, secretary of New Galloway Angling Association, said: “They’re causing a lot of problems and untold damage.”
A reader got in touch with the News following a conversation with a fisherman who made the claims.
The local, who asked not to be named, said: “A Geordie proudly told me that he and his friends take crayfish from Loch Ken and other areas in Galloway and put them in waters surrounding the area, because apparently they are very tasty.
“I could not believe the audacity of this guy who tried to back-track from his statement once he realised my disgust.”
The non-native species has plagued the loch for several years.
The shellfish were also recently found for the first time in water near Lochfoot and in the River Nith.
Mr Stott said: “It is illegal to move them and these people, if they are doing it, are damaging the economy of the Glenkens. There is no need to do it, there are enough crayfish in Loch Ken already.”
The shellfish population on the water is so big now that it is having a knock-on effect on the tourist trade, as anglers stay away.
Mr Stott added: “We have hardly any bookings for this year.
“The four big fishing festivals have been cancelled so far as the fishermen are going to Ireland.
“It is more expensive for them to go there but at least they are catching fish.”
Last year, the Easter Fishing Festival was only saved from cancellation after anglers were found at the 11th hour.
A police spokesman said that the force had received no reports of the crayfish being moved illegally.