Crawfish Season Kicks Off In Terrebonne, Lafourche Parishes

HOUMA, LA (AP) — The first of the season's crawfish are starting to appear in seafood shops across Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes.

         LSU extension agent Alan Matherne tells The Courier’s Meredith Burns the season usually starts around this time of year after farmers flood their ponds to catch the older crawfish that come out the earliest.

         "They're the older, mature crawfish that were already in the pond for some time. They're going to be a good size," he said.

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         The first of the season's crawfish are starting to appear in seafood shops across Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes.

         Big Al's Seafood brought in its first six sacks of the season last Friday. The boiled crawfish, which were about medium sized, sold for $6.75 a pound dine-in only.

         "They didn't last but about two and half hours," said restaurant manager Jordan Page.

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         Bayou Cane Seafood also brought in its first sacks of crawfish last Friday, said owner Delvin Francis, who sold boiled crawfish at $5.99 a pound.

         He's hoping to have at least a few sacks of crawfish each day until the supply picks up toward the end of the month.

         "It's starting the way it normally does. They start trickling in," he said. "It starts off slow and that's the way it ends."

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         Gary Blanchard, owner of the Crawfish House, sold his first 300 pounds of boiled crawfish for $5.99 a pound Wednesday. He hopes to soon sell live ones for $4.99 a pound.

         "They're finger-licking good," he said.

         Other retailers in Lafourche and Terrebonne haven't begun selling crawfish but advise customers to check in during the next few days as the mudbugs start to come in.

         Clint Guidry, of Guidry's Seafood, expects to sell his first crawfish of the season on Friday at $4.50-$4.75 a pound for live ones and about $5.50 a pound for boiled ones.

         Guidry said his suppliers' catches are up compared to the start of last season thanks to mild weather.

         "If we don't see any really cold weather, which it doesn't look like we will, it's going be a really good start to the season," he said.

         Matherne said a hard winter could slow down production significantly, but it's too soon to tell how the remainder of the year will pan out.

         "I don't anticipate any major problems, unless we have some major event," he said. "At this point, it's a pretty typical opening season."

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