Massive snails cause massive problem for crawfish farmer - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Massive snails cause massive problem for crawfish farmer

Posted: Updated:

Massive snails are causing massive problems for crawfish farmers around Acadiana, and agents with the LSU AgCenter are afraid those snails will spread.

"The channeled apple snail is an invasive species of snail that actually got introduced into the U.S. from the aquarium trade. It's a native of South America," explained LSU AgCenter Professor & State Extension Rice Specialist Dustin Harrell 

Harrell says the channeled apple snail has been long seen in the Mermentau River Basin, but the historic flood of 2016 flood pushed the snails into surrounding bodies of water.

"Whenever it flooded, we had a large movement of water; the snails moved with the water," said Harrell. 

Some of the snails moved into the Bayou Queue de Tortue, which Vermilion Parish farmer Kevin Landry uses to irrigate his fields.

"We just couldn't continue with the snails. It was just unbearable," said Landry R. Farms Owner Kevin Landry 

Landry lost about 220 acres of crawfish production to the snails, which he equates to about a $200,000 dollar loss. 

Last year, Landry just had a few of the channeled apple snails. This year the population exploded, and that has LSU Ag agents worried the invasive species is going to spread to other farms in the region.

"Now, the snails get very large. Some of them as large as a tennis ball, and when they get this large, they'll actually crawl into the opening, and they'll plug up the opening to where the crawfish can't get in," explained Harrell. 

However, while the larger snails blocked crawfish from getting into the cage, smaller snails still got in and fed on the crawfish bait.

"We couldn't pick em up, man! You had to stop the boat and drag it. Your arm would be killing you. It was just doubled up in snails," expressed Landry. 

Landry says he'll continue farming, but he'll irrigate his fields using well water.

Harrell told KATC the snails can be just as detrimental to rice crops, and they can block irrigation channels. 

Power Doppler HD
Powered by Frankly

© KATC.com 2018, KATC.com
Privacy Policy, | Terms of Service, and Ad Choices

Can't find something?