Crawfish season off to sluggish start - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Crawfish season off to sluggish start

Posted: Updated:
  • More Local NewsLocalMore>>

  • TRAFFIC: Cameron Ferry out of service until Wednesday morning

    TRAFFIC: Cameron Ferry out of service until Wednesday morning

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 12:08 AM EDT2014-07-30 04:08:05 GMT
    Officials have said the Cameron Ferry will be out of service until early Wednesday morning.No reason was given for the outage.Copyright 2014KPLC. All rights reserved.More >>
    Officials have said the Cameron Ferry will be out of service until early Wednesday morning.No reason was given for the outage.Copyright 2014KPLC. All rights reserved.More >>
  • BP claim forms circulating in LC area

    BP claim forms circulating in LC area

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 8:42 PM EDT2014-07-30 00:42:19 GMT
    Over the last couple of weeks someone has been circulating so-called BP oil claim forms in the Lake Charles area. While man, if not most medical claims associated with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have been settled, someone is holding meetings around the Lake area trying to get people to sign up. But they're not too forthcoming when it comes to saying who they are or who they represent. Last week there were crowds at Miss Street Church of Christ during various times of the day."People ther...More >>
    Over the last couple of weeks someone has been circulating so-called BP oil claim forms in the Lake Charles area. While man, if not most medical claims associated with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have been settled, someone is holding meetings around the Lake area trying to get people to sign up. But they're not too forthcoming when it comes to saying who they are or who they represent. Last week there were crowds at Miss Street Church of Christ during various times of the day."People ther...More >>
  • CPSB conference encourages principals to lead schools well

    CPSB conference encourages principals to lead schools well

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 7:38 PM EDT2014-07-29 23:38:11 GMT
    Every issue in a school always comes down to leadership. That’s one of the main points being driven at this year’s Calcasieu Parish School Board Leadership Summit. More >>
    Every issue in a school always comes down to leadership. That’s one of the main points being driven at this year’s Calcasieu Parish School Board Leadership Summit. More >>

The following is a news release from the LSU AgCenter:

This year's crawfish season is off to a slow start mainly because of unusually long stretches of cold weather, but a warm-up is boosting the catch.

Predicting whether the season will be good or bad is difficult, according to Ray McClain, crawfish specialist for the LSU AgCenter. "There are many factors that influence crawfish production and the degree of how each factor affects production will vary widely making a prediction an inexact science. There really is no crystal ball."

During an LSU AgCenter meeting on Feb. 21 for crawfish producers in Opelousas, Donnie Fisher, of Whiteville, said his ponds are off to a slow start and most of the crawfish are small.

"Right now it's about the same as last year," Fisher said.

He caught 250 pounds Tuesday in 1,250 traps and said the total is increasing with warm weather. "It's picking up every day. It went from three sacks one day to five to seven sacks," Fisher said.

Dustin Le of Arnaudville said his 25-acre pond isn't producing much. "Right now, it's very slow, probably because of the cold," he said.

But he's optimistic that warm weather will bring improvement. "I think we need a little time," Le said.

Barrett Olivier of Opelousas said he's noticing better results with the warmer temperatures.

"The catch is picking up. I think the season is going to be good, but late," He said the catch seems to be better this time last year.

Weather and the health of the animals play a large role in whether a successful season will unfold, McClain said.

Spawning takes place as early as late July through September. Females will burrow into the ground nearly 3 feet deep where they will lay their eggs and hatch their young. An unusually dry period during this time can lead to a high mortality rate in the burrow of both mature and juvenile crawfish causing a poor season.

Rainfall is also important during the early fall. "A mature crawfish needs rainfall to soften the plug on the burrow. Without moisture during this time, the female and young cannot escape the burrow," McClain said.
"Just because the harvest is slow this time a year, it may not equate to a poor season," McClain said. "The season may just be delayed. The crawfish are there. They just haven't reached a marketable size."

He notes that a long delay generally correlates to a lower seasonal harvest. The majority of crawfish production comes from farm ponds in southwest and south central Louisiana.

According to the latest LSU AgCenter Ag Summary figures, approximately 98 million pounds of crawfish were harvested from ponds last year compared to about 15.5 million pounds caught in the wild.

Production costs have increased for producers this year. Both fuel and bait are up according to McClain. Fish bait is used by many crawfish producers when water temperatures are below 70 degrees because research has showed it to be more effective.

Powered by WorldNow