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

Crawfish season off to sluggish start

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.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • BREAKING

    UPDATE: Two people killed in car crash in Egan identified

    UPDATE: Two people killed in car crash in Egan identified

    Wednesday, July 26 2017 4:17 PM EDT2017-07-26 20:17:08 GMT
    (Source: KPLC)(Source: KPLC)

    Speeding and no seat belt usage is believed to be the cause of two fatalities in a single vehicle crash in Egan Tuesday night according to Master Trooper, Brooks David, with Louisiana State Police Troop I. Kevin Melancon of Calion, Arkansas, and Donna Cormier of Egan, both 44 died in the crash. Melancon was driving a 2013 Chevrolet Camaro on LA 100 when he ran off a curve and struck a culvert. Both Melancon and Cormier were not wearing seat belts, said David. Melanc...

    More >>

    Speeding and no seat belt usage is believed to be the cause of two fatalities in a single vehicle crash in Egan Tuesday night according to Master Trooper, Brooks David, with Louisiana State Police Troop I. Kevin Melancon of Calion, Arkansas, and Donna Cormier of Egan, both 44 died in the crash. Melancon was driving a 2013 Chevrolet Camaro on LA 100 when he ran off a curve and struck a culvert. Both Melancon and Cormier were not wearing seat belts, said David. Melanc...

    More >>
  • Boil Advisory for town of Thornwell

    Boil Advisory for town of Thornwell

    Wednesday, July 26 2017 4:08 PM EDT2017-07-26 20:08:14 GMT
    (Source: KPLC)(Source: KPLC)
    The Jeff Davis Water Commission in Thornwell has issued a boil advisory for portions of Hwy. 99. Water service has been restored to all affected areas but residents on Hwy. 99 as well as areas West and Northwest of Hwy. 99 should boil their water before use. The Jeff Davis Water Commission says it apologizes for any inconvenience and appreciates your patience.  Copyright 2017 KPLC. All rights reserved. More >>
    The Jeff Davis Water Commission in Thornwell has issued a boil advisory for portions of Hwy. 99. Water service has been restored to all affected areas but residents on Hwy. 99 as well as areas West and Northwest of Hwy. 99 should boil their water before use. The Jeff Davis Water Commission says it apologizes for any inconvenience and appreciates your patience.  Copyright 2017 KPLC. All rights reserved. More >>
  • FIRST ALERT FORECAST: More hot and dry weather this week before the rain returns this weekend

    FIRST ALERT FORECAST: More hot and dry weather this week before the rain returns this weekend

    Wednesday, July 26 2017 3:55 PM EDT2017-07-26 19:55:52 GMT
    Another dry day on ThursdayAnother dry day on Thursday

    By sunset this evening the temperatures will start to go down although we will still be very warm tonight. Overnight we will have mostly clear skies and temperatures in the mid 70s. Rain chances are down to zero. Thursday we will still be mostly sunny with a few passing clouds. Rain chances are down to 10%, but that is still being generous. Due to the upper level high pressure to our west, it will greatly limit any rain chances through the end of the week. 

    More >>

    By sunset this evening the temperatures will start to go down although we will still be very warm tonight. Overnight we will have mostly clear skies and temperatures in the mid 70s. Rain chances are down to zero. Thursday we will still be mostly sunny with a few passing clouds. Rain chances are down to 10%, but that is still being generous. Due to the upper level high pressure to our west, it will greatly limit any rain chances through the end of the week. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly