The Rebound: Chez Francois Seafood

Rebound - Chez Francois Seafood - Winter Crawfish.JPG
Posted at 8:20 PM, Dec 04, 2020

LAFAYETTE, La. — As cold temperatures settle in with no end in sight for the pandemic, Scott Brazda looks at how the seafood crawfish industry make it through the winter and visits with Andre' Leger at Chez Francois Seafood to talk about the fall and winter crawfish.

"It's looking good, Scott, it's looking real good," said Leger. "It looks like we had a real wet summer; the crawfish didn't have to bury real far. There's a lot of babies."

But even with the early returns, for the positive prognosis for the start of the season to become reality, a couple more things have to go right, says Leger.

"Contingent upon the winter and how cold it gets," he says. "But man, we started and we sure didn't expect to see what we're seeing."

Leger is seeing good signs and there's crawfish farming activity in a few different places.

"They're still getting some crawfish out of the Basin," said Leger. "The water went down, but because of the hurricanes, it put some water in the Basin, and they're fishing. It looks like we're gonna have a good season. It's early but it looks like we're gonna have a good year."

That being said, the trials and tribulations brought onto the seafood industry by the pandemic won't be easily - or quickly - forgotten.

"Oh, Scott, man, let me tell you. I'm just afraid it won't leave," said Leger. "I don't think we're gonna wake up January
One, and it'll all be unicorns and rainbows. 2020's gonna drag on. We're gonna be affected by 2020 for years to come."

And back to the positive stuff. Christmas in three weeks away, and Leger expects his customers to show up, and show up again.

"They're gonna want the crabmeat au gratin, the crawfish etouffee, they're gonna go all out for Christmas, they always do," said Leger.

As Andre Leger says, he wouldn't be surprised if the pandemic effects continue into the spring. We certainly wish him and all the farmers and processors and fishermen the very best.

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