Good Friday and Easter crawfish boils may be in danger this year, a report from the Gulf Seafood Foundation.
The story, which you can read for yourself here, reports that crawfish season may be in danger because bait dealers are out of fish.
Crawfish season starts to ramp up after the first of the year. Net fishermen catch the Gulf Menhaden, often-called Pogie, April through the November. That doesn’t coincide with the surge and sales for the crawfish season running through May, the report states. The fish, which reaches nine inches at max, has become a hot property. Besides used as a baitfish for crawfish, crabs, catfish and recreational fishermen, it is also in demand by companies producing protein for commercial uses, the report states.
“Our seasons just don’t align very well, it has nothing to do with the biomass of the species. Menhaden is a very prolific fish; the problems lie with the lack of vessels on the water fishing,” said Shawn Switzer, manager of Louisiana Bait Products. “This year our catch was normal, however because it was a really good crab season our supplies of Menhaden were lower than usual and I ran out earlier than normal. I have been out for two-months now.”
Sitting on the banks of the Vermillion River, the company catches, processes and distributes more than 10-million pounds of Menhaden a year.
“We could have caught a good bit more if it weren’t for the hurricanes,” he told the Foundation.
Although Hurricane Ida’s path avoided Abbeville, it and Tropical Storm Claudett, affected the company’s ability to be on the water harvesting, resulting in a loss of more than four weeks of fishing.
“The storms caused an economic injury as opposed to physical damage. We lost a good month of fishing from the two storms this year. Storms churn the water and spread the fish. The muddy water makes it difficult for spotting pilots to see the fish,” he explained.
To read the rest of the story and all the details, click here.