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"