Crawfish prices still high, but beginning to drop


March 04, 2010 at 11:12 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Mike Garst traveled all the way from Metairie in an attempt to catch his own crawfish in the ditch that runs along Highway 90. Garst said crawfish are so expensive right now that catching his own will save him money, even factoring in the cost of gas.
Jonathan Menard
Mike Garst traveled all the way from Metairie in an attempt to catch his own crawfish in the ditch that runs along Highway 90. Garst said crawfish are so expensive right now that catching his own will save him money, even factoring in the cost of gas.
Cold winter weather put a chill on the crawfish harvest and led to soaring prices at local seafood stores. But on Monday, the price began to drop and many believe the trend will continue.

Boutte’s Bayou Bounty Seafood was  selling a pound of live crawfish for $3.29 last week, which is about $1 more than the seafood store sold a pound for in February 2009.


But thanks to a little warm weather at the end of February, the price dropped to $2.79 a pound on March 1.


“It has been rough,” Heath Folse, the owner of Bayou Bounty, said. “The prices were outrageous, and two weeks ago we couldn’t even get enough crawfish in stock.


“Now we are seeing the price fall and I expect another drop soon.”


Folse said that more crawfish are becoming available as the weather starts to warm, and he hopes that leads to increased business.


“I was actually surprised that people were paying $3.29 a pound,” he said. “But while we did have people coming in, we were still slow last week considering we were in the second week of Lent.”


Folse said that all the area needs is a week of 70 degree weather to get the crawfish harvest back in line. Once that happens, he expects a bounty of not only regular crawfish, but Belle River crawfish as well.


“We are starting to see Belle River crawfish already, so if both start to come out at the same time, we will go from not having enough crawfish, to having too much,” he said.


Zeringue’s Seafood is also selling a pound of live crawfish for $2.79, and Blandon Zeringue says that he has seen a recent surge in crawfish.


“It has been a very rough season, but everything is good now,” he said. “As long as the sun is shining and warming up the water a bit, the crawfish are getting out and moving around.


“The size is also nice right now.”


But with prices still high, some people are trying to catch their own. A popular spot has been the ditch that runs along Highway 90.


Mike Garst traveled all the way from Metairie just to try to catch some crawfish in that ditch.


“I was driving by one day and saw everyone out here crawfishing,” he said. “I came out right after that and did pretty well, but on my second trip things haven’t been that great.”


Garst said that stores in Metairie are selling a pound of live crawfish for $3.75, so if he is able to catch his own, he will save some money.


“Even if you factor in the cost of gas, it can still work out well for you if you manage to catch some good crawfish,” he said. “As the temperature goes up, I think you’re going to see a lot more people out here around this ditch.
“Then I’m going to have to come back and fight for a spot.”




View other articles written Jonathan Menard

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