Cold weather pauses crawfish season

MONROE, La. (KNOE) - All this cold weather is putting a pause on the crawfish season.

The mudbugs are deep in the ground right now, so they aren’t going into the traps.

Experts say it's causing restaurants to run dry.

For Tom Hardy and Riverside Coney Island, crawfish bring big crowds.

"On a normal Friday night, every table in here is full and we're eating crawfish," Hardy says.

But not this Friday.

"We had crawfish up until New Year’s Eve and I ran out and we haven't been able to get any since because it's been too cold," he says.

No crowds, no live music, no crawfish. "It's going to be dead tonight. They come for the crawfish," Hardy says.

Hardy says he won't have mudbugs for about another week.

Researchers at the LSU Ag Center say crawfish don't do anything in the cold.

Aquaculture specialist Mark Shirley says, "They go maybe an inch or half inch in the mud and they basically just kind of hibernate there until it warms up."

Right now, the weather down south isn't cooperating. "We have ice that covers the top of the ponds anywhere from a little thin sheet to maybe a half inch thick," Shirley says.

It could mean bad news for crawfish lovers. "We may not have a lot of crawfish to eat during Super Bowl in the next few weeks and Mardi Gras," Shirley says.

Overall, Hardy says blame snow lovers for this delay in crawfish. "You want the snow and everything but then you start saying 'Wow I got the snow but no crawfish' and you weigh it out," he says.

Shirley says not to worry though. "I do see a good crawfish season shaping up, it's just not going to be right now in January."

And Hardy agrees. "It's going to be a good season,” he says. “Hang in there; it's going to be good."

For now, the mudbugs are heading back into the mud before they end up on your plate.