Rainy weather leads to ample crawfish crop

Richard Bogren  |  3/3/2016 4:28:13 PM

Crawfish Traps

Ryan Williams, front, and Shelby Hauck work together to run crawfish traps at the LSU AgCenter Aquaculture Research Station on Feb. 5, 2016. LSU AgCenter aquaculture researcher Ray McClain expects this year’s crawfish crop to be a good one. Photo by Olivia McClure

Crawfish

Shelby Hauck, left, and Ryan Williams sort crawfish caught at the LSU AgCenter Aquaculture Research Station. Photo by Olivia McClure

(03/03/16) BATON ROUGE, La. – Abundant is a word consumers love to hear when talking about crawfish, and that is exactly what this year’s crop should be.

Producers started harvesting in November, which is early in the season, said LSU AgCenter aquaculture researcher Ray McClain. Weather conditions all the way back to the past summer have been ideal for crawfish production.

“We had ample rainfall during summer when crawfish are down in the burrows, which gave us fairly good broodstock survival and reproduction,” McClain said.

The rain continued in the fall, which encouraged females to emerge from their burrows, and the mild temperatures during fall and winter were good for growth.

While crawfish will be plentiful, McClain said, the size may be smaller.

“When crawfish population density is high, you typically get a way smaller crawfish,” he said

McClain also reminds consumers that a saltwater purge is ineffective at cleaning out the crawfish’s intestinal tract.

“You really have to maintain crawfish in fresh water, usually an aerated vat, for 12 to 24 hours in order to get a cleaner GI tract,” McClain said

This process isn’t practical for most consumers, but McClain recommends cleaning the crawfish to rid them of mud and debris before putting them in the boiling pot.

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