Dry fall, cold winter shortened crawfish season - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Dry fall, cold winter shortened crawfish season

Posted: Updated:
BATON ROUGE, La.(KNOE 8 News & LSU AgCenter) – When fall weather is dry, and winter is as cold and as long as it was this year, the combination spells problems for the crawfish industry.

That scenario put this year’s season about one month behind, said LSU AgCenter aquaculture researcher Robert Romaire.

“When you get behind, it’s really hard to catch up,” Romaire said. “We lost a month of growing this season due to weather.”

Because crawfish growth is temperature-dependent, those months from November through February are important to size and availability.

“It was cold longer this year than we usually expect,” Romaire said.

LSU AgCenter aquaculture researcher Ray McClain, who studies crawfish at the Rice Research Station near Crowley, said this has definitely been an atypical year for pond-raised crawfish.

“Some crawfish are still being harvested, and as is typical, harvesting will continue in those ponds that are catching as long as it is profitable,” McClain said.

The recent dry spell has caused some crawfish farmers to end their seasons, while others are looking toward the Atchafalaya Basin for the wild crop that comes in this time of the year.

“It’s possible that a period of cool, rainy weather could prolong the season some,” McClain said. But hot, dry weather spells the end of this year’s pond crop.

LSU AgCenter aquaculture specialist Greg Lutz said years ago nobody really expected to find boiled crawfish during winter, but now, if you don’t mind the size, you can find boiled crawfish during the colder months.

“It’s a matter of economics,” Lutz said. “If the farmer can justify going out to run the traps, and he can get a good enough price, he will get crawfish.”

When the weather cooperates in the fall, it is possible to find boiled crawfish as early as Thanksgiving, which was unheard of just over 10 years ago, Romaire said.

“During the past decade, people have been demanding and getting crawfish around Thanksgiving, but it hasn’t always been so,” Romaire said. “You didn’t expect to get them until around March.

Normally the crawfish season would be down to the last few weeks by now, Lutz said. “But with the season starting off slower and the wild catch just now really coming in, crawfish could be available for several more weeks before they start burrowing up for the summer.”

One of the problems encountered by crawfish farmers when the season starts slow is many are actually rice farmers first and crawfish farmers second, Romaire said. “When it’s time to plant rice, they can’t wait.”

Lutz said the crawfish know what they are supposed to do and when they are supposed to do it.

“These crawfish have been doing this for hundreds of millions of years. When the days start to get longer and the water starts to get warmer, they know that summer is coming soon, so they’ve got to go find a place to spend the summer, and they’ll start burrowing down,” Lutz said.

The researchers agree that the wild crawfish coming in now are about the same quality as pond-raised were in March.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Mom held without bail-infants found dead

    Mom held without bail-infants found dead

    Monday, September 15 2014 10:48 AM EDT2014-09-15 14:48:16 GMT
    (CNN)-A foul smell leads police to a Massachusetts home. What they found inside landed a mother behind bars.
    (CNN)-A foul smell leads police to a Massachusetts home. What they found inside landed a mother behind bars.
  • Miss America

    Miss America

    Monday, September 15 2014 9:02 AM EDT2014-09-15 13:02:48 GMT
    ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - The new Miss America won her crown after singing a Pharrell Williams song while playing with a red plastic cup, a performance she says was inspired by a similar scene in a move.
    ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - The new Miss America won her crown after singing a Pharrell Williams song while playing with a red plastic cup, a performance she says was inspired by a similar scene in a move.
  • 2014 ArkLaMiss Fair Schedule

    2014 ArkLaMiss Fair Schedule

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 2:37 PM EDT2014-09-02 18:37:25 GMT
    2014 ArkLaMiss Fair Schedule of Events
    2014 ArkLaMiss Fair Schedule of Events
  • Tax preparer arrested for fraudulent tax claims

    Tax preparer arrested for fraudulent tax claims

    Monday, September 15 2014 9:56 AM EDT2014-09-15 13:56:20 GMT
    BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - State revenue officials say a Tallulah woman has been arrested and faces more than 30 felony counts related to a 60,000 tax fraud scheme.
    BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - State revenue officials say a Tallulah woman has been arrested and faces more than 30 felony counts related to a 60,000 tax fraud scheme.
  • Ouachita Parish school bus driver allegedly assaults rider

    Ouachita Parish school bus driver allegedly assaults rider

    Friday, September 12 2014 7:58 PM EDT2014-09-12 23:58:11 GMT
    OUACHITA PARISH, La. (KNOE 8 News)- Parent Felicia Moore says the driver tried to force her daughter off the bus at a stop she was not supposed to get off at.
    OUACHITA PARISH, La. (KNOE 8 News)- Parent Felicia Moore says the driver tried to force her daughter off the bus at a stop she was not supposed to get off at.
  • Shooting at Monroe Daycare Center

    Shooting at Monroe Daycare Center

    Friday, September 12 2014 2:59 PM EDT2014-09-12 18:59:51 GMT
    Monroe, La (KNOE 8 News & MPD)- The Monroe Police Department responded to a shooting in the parking lot of the Wonderland Daycare Center located at 1705 Hickory Street Friday morning.
    Monroe, La (KNOE 8 News & MPD)- The Monroe Police Department responded to a shooting in the parking lot of the Wonderland Daycare Center located at 1705 Hickory Street Friday morning.
  • Neville Coaches and Players Speak Out

    Neville Coaches and Players Speak Out

    Friday, September 12 2014 10:39 PM EDT2014-09-13 02:39:37 GMT
    MONROE, La. (KNOE News)--Neville football players and coaches are doing much better than earlier in the week, after junior Cole Tracey collapsed on the field.
    MONROE, La. (KNOE News)--Neville football players and coaches are doing much better than earlier in the week, after junior Cole Tracey collapsed on the field.
  • Two inmates escape from Lincoln Parish Detention Center

    Two inmates escape from Lincoln Parish Detention Center

    Sunday, September 14 2014 11:51 AM EDT2014-09-14 15:51:03 GMT
    RUSTON, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Authorities in Lincoln Parish are searching for two inmates who escaped the Lincoln Parish Detention Center. Paul James Landry and Dennis James Harrell were trustees working outside the detention center when they escaped Saturday around 6:00 p.m.
    RUSTON, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Authorities in Lincoln Parish are searching for two inmates who escaped the Lincoln Parish Detention Center. Paul James Landry and Dennis James Harrell were trustees working outside the detention center when they escaped Saturday around 6:00 p.m.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KNOE. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.