Crawfish Season Off to an Early Start in Louisiana
Okay, we probably all did it last December. Remember how we were whining and moaning about "how hot it is" and "it doesn't feel like Christmas"? Well, we weren't wrong but there was actually an upside to that warmer than average weather that we experienced over the holidays.
The warmer than normal temperatures appear to have jumped started Louisiana's crawfish season. Those temperatures in the middle 70s that had us roasting in our ugly Christmas sweaters were actually beneficial to newly hatched crawfish in the state's swamps, bayous, and commercially farmed ponds.
The experts at the LSU AgCenter tell us that crawfish thrive in water that is between 60 degrees and 70 degrees. So, the slightly warmer than optimum wasn't a bad thing at all for the young crawfish to eat, grow, get fat, and wait to be caught so we can eat them.
While all of this is great news for those of us who can't wait to sit down with a couple of hundred friends and pinch some tails and drink a cold beer there is going to be a bit of wrench thrown into our party. That wrench is what you're seeing and hearing and perhaps even feeling outside your door right now.
The cold front that is blasting through Louisiana today will drop those water temperatures back a lot compared to what the crawfish love. So, we can expect them to become a lot less active and their growth cycles to slow, especially while the weather is so cold.
But the crawfish will return to their robust growth, we hope, once the weather warms back up. According to the long-range forecast that will be next Tuesday when temperatures once again moderate back to seasonal norms.
Which is great news for those of us who love to eat the mudbugs. By the way, Louisiana crawfish producers are expected to harvest more than 150 million pounds of crawfish this season out of some 260,000 acres of commercial and private crawfish ponds.
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