JEFF DAVIS PARISH, La. (KPLC) - Waking up early and catching some crawfish is the daily routine for Burt Tietje.
As a crawfish farmer in Jeff Davis Parish, he says taking a valuable crop is a crime. Tietje says some of the problem comes with rain overflowing the ponds, allowing for the crawfish to leave the pond.
"This spring it's been some massive rainstorms, four huge rain events,” Tietje said. “After each of them, the crawfish just started walking out of the pond and begin to bury up. Nothing I can do about it as a crawfish farmer. Just one of those things that happens from year to year."
Christopher Ivey, Chief Deputy for the Jeff Davis Parish Sheriff’s Office says the cost and labor that goes into producing the crawfish just takes away the farmer’s livelihood.
"All of that costs the farmer money and so whether the individual thinks the crawfish are here naturally, yes, but the farmers do a lot,” Ivey said. “We don't want to see the farmers losing money because people are willing to commit a crime and take something that doesn't belong to them."
Tietje says the job is already hard enough.
“Crawfish farming is a hard thing to do, we’re battling nature, we’re battling a whole lot of unknowns, it really gets discouraging when you have to battle human nature as well,” Tietje said.