Monday, March 19, 2012

Crawfish Season 101

Crawfish Season 101

Come along with me on a little journey just about ten miles from my house. 
We are going to visit a crawfish farm.

Let me fill you in real quick on what crawfish are and what they are 'not'.
 Crawfish have been apart of Louisiana history dating back to the native Americans and the early European settlers.
Crawfish are little freshwater crustaceans, but we like to think of them as Louisiana's  "Mini Lobsters".
Contrary to belief we do not eat crawfish from the ditch.
They do not eat mud and their diet is actually one of grass.

We eat crawfish every spring that we purchase from the local seafood market.
This weekend, I had the opportunity to actually
 visit a crawfish farm.

  This is the 14 acre pond that is having fresh water pumped into it.
The ponds are not really that deep.  

Pond farming started in the 1960's.  Man made ponds make it much easier to control the water levels and farmers are then able to yield a much larger crop.

1,600 farmers produce crawfish on some 111,000 acres of ponds and more than 800 commerical
fisherman harvest from the natural wet lands, primarily the Atchafalaya Basin.

   The traps are baited with pieces of fish.
The tall pipe to the right is used to drain the pond at the end of the season.

How cool is this Mr. Tommy (the farmer) walks in the ponds pulling this little boat that he modified. The silver box in the back holds his bait.  The metal box in the front with the shoot is where he empties the crawfish from the traps and they slide into the tub.

Yes, that is a gun sticking out behind the white bucket.
I asked him what in the world would he need a gun for?
 I should have known, DUH!  The snakes.  

Ok,  I will NOT,  repeat  will NOT,
be asking to help check the traps. 
 Dang It !  and I am about 50 pounds to heavy to ask him to pull me around in the little boat!

On further inspection of his way to cool boat, he has a white bucket with turtles.
Those were in the traps so he takes them to be released in a bayou behind his house.
 The black thing at the top right of the bucket is an eel..YUCK.  Sorry, but I did not ask him what he does with those.

Mr. Tommy is unloading the crawfish into a container that allows him to sack them.

The life of a crawfish farmer is very hard physical work. 
Mr. Tommy works a full time job and then comes home to work his ponds in the evenings and on the weekends.
  He walks his 14 acre pond for hours in the morning sun.
 ( It was in the upper 70's yesterday morning.) 
Then he unloads his catch and sacks them up.
The green containier holds about 140 pounds of crawfish that he dumps into the sacker...gotta have some muscles for that!


In Louisiana the combined annual yield of pond and wild harvested crawfish range from 75 million to 105 million pounds.

Mr. Tommy sacking up our crawfish.
You can not get any fresher or cleaner crawfish that going straight to the source.

Thank you to Mr. Tommy and Shari for allowing me to visit your farm. What a wonderful experience to see the hard work that goes into getting crawfish from their pond to my patio!

 I hope you enjoyed our journey out to the crawfish ponds.

Next ~ Cooking our "Little Crustaceans"

Join me today for other inspiring ideas at Skip To My Lou ~ Made By You Monday  and my dear friend at
Three Mango Seeds


Mrs. H said...

Thanks for this interesting post! We call them "Craw Dads" here...LOVE THEM!
I hate eels, luckily I haven't came into contact with too many! YUCK!!!

Cotton Peony said...

HOLY CRAWDADDIES! We love those wee babies too! Only time to get em is late winter, just before spring. So yummy and delish! If Easter is early enough in the year, that's what we have on Saturday eve.. that and a bushel of oysters. Boy, what a mess it is.. but worth every bite!!

Can't wait to see part 'duo' of the lesson! Bring em on baby!!

Love and kisses,
Cotton Peony

Clydia said...

I have to admit that I strongly dislike any type of seafood but thoroughly enjoyed reading your post. :) looking fwd to part two! (Hugs)

Emily said...

I am so excited about crawfish season too!

Debilou ~ Mississippi Mama said...

How cool to see where the crawfish actually come from..My husband and kids love crawfish!

Shenita @ Embellishments by SLR said...

Melissa, you know I love this post! Hubby and I ate at Razoo's on Friday night; and they were serving 'em up by the plateful!! Mmmmmmm!!!

Lori said...

If it is OK I am going to feature you in my crawfish party post. We bought ours already cooked. $1.00 extra a pound was worth it.

Tiffany Selvey said...

We occasionally have crawfish boils... So much fun!

Susan said...

We love crawfish (SW La) but dang it, they're a bit small so far this year. And with this monsoon that's we're expecting any minute, who knows if they'll get bigger. Anyway, thanks for the awesome post.

mississippi artist said...

Making me hungry -need to go on the hunt for some crawfish-haven't seen any here yet.

Ms.Mickie said...

They are so much better fresh from the pond to the pot....and lots of family to share them with.