Posted: Jan 30, 2014 10:38 PM by Rob Krieger
Updated: Jan 31, 2014 4:53 AM
PLAQUEMINE- If you have planned a crawfish boil for the big game, your plans may be on ice unless you're ready to hand off some serious cash to buy the crimson crustacean.
Icy weather froze many crawfish ponds in Louisiana, leaving a layer of ice that didn't melt until Thursday, in some places.
"When I came to the pond this morning, we had an abundance of ice, it was probably a half inch thick and the whole pond was just solid ice," said Louis Kelley, a crawfish farmer from Bayou Sorrel. "I looked at a few traps and the crawfish weren't hardly moving and I just didn't like what I'd seen."
The cold weather puts crawfish into a suspended animation, waiting for warmer waters.
"They'll just sit there, you can poke 'em with a stick and they more often than not, won't even react to you," said Greg Lutz, an aquaculture scientist at LSU.
The cold weather also impacts the food chain, killing off vegetation that feeds the critters crawfish crave.
"That vegetation all dies at once and it will all breakdown at once which leads to other problems later in the season which leads to a lack of fresh food supply for our crawfish," said Lutz.
Now customers could pay as much as $6.49 a pound for boiled crawfish, but fishermen expect that price to drop once the waters warm and crawfish start heading for their traps.