Experts weigh in on state of crawfish industry after flooding in Louisiana

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BASILE, La. (KLFY) – In Louisiana, some have concerns on how the Flood of 2016 will affect this year’s crawfish season.

Crawfish farmers and LSU AgCenter experts came together Tuesday for a meeting at Toups Crawfish in Basile to discuss all things crawfish.

“The commodity price of rice, soybeans is down. Everything’s down. Crawfish is basically what is keeping us in business,” said Jordy Veillon, a farmer from Ville Platte.

Professor Greg Lutz said despite the flooding, he expects farmers will have their fair share of crawfish this season.

“I think some ponds and some farms are going to be impacted pretty severely. I think other ponds may not notice an impact at all. The industry as a whole will probably not be set back too much by that flooding,” Lutz said.

Lutz said crawfish who are flooded prematurely do not have a high survival rate in floodwaters, because of a lack of oxygen and vegetation.

“Those mama crawfish stay down in the ground until they’re ready to come out. But when you have early flooding, like we had it forces them out of the ground, a lot of them had not laid their eggs yet,” Lutz said.

However, for Veillon he says the floods actually helped his crawfish crop.

“As far as crawfish goes, it was good thing because it keeps them alive in their burrows. They say they don’t stress as much, so the more water you have the better,” Veillon said .

Crawfish season doesn’t officially begin until mid-January, but until then farmers said they’ll use the information they learned Tuesday night to help them prepare for a full crop ahead.