Louisiana crawfish season is underway - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Louisiana crawfish season is underway

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Sacks of crawfish at D & T Crawfish Sacks of crawfish at D & T Crawfish

It's early in the Crawfish season and people are wondering what type of harvest are we going to have in Acadiana this year. Weather plays a huge role in crawfish season. In Acadiana, crawfish farmers have dealt with the effects of floods, droughts and now a cold snap.

At D&T Crawfish farmer Troy Hanks dropped off his catch. He said it wasn't any of those weather events that affected his harvest.

"That cold spell we had recently, I didn't see a difference in the catch," he says. "The first difference in catch was today and it's mainly because of that wind direction."

Nature is the unknown aspect of crawfish farming that farmers really can't account for.                                                                                              

"It's really unexplainable. One year you think you have it figured out and the next year you have it completely solved and the next year it's proven wrong. It's just a hit or miss every year," Hanks says.

According to D&T's sales records, this year is about the same as the long-term average, but there is a difference from last year's harvest. 

"It just kind of depends on local buyers and farmers," says Mark Shirley, an aquaculture specialist with the LSU AGCenter. "The supply is going to change a little bit, but overall at this time of year compared to last year the volume is down a little bit, but last year we kind of had a bumper crop."

Crawfish sizes are about small to medium right now, but that will change as the season goes on.

"They will be molting with a few more weather fronts over the next months or so and getting to be a good medium or even large size," Shirley says.

After the cold spell it should take a couple of weeks for the water to warm back up. If temperatures rise as expected into the 70s, farmers will reap the benefits. 

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