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Shortage in Lake Pontchartrain bedevils crabbers

3 years 4 months 2 weeks ago June 08, 2013 Jun 8, 2013 Saturday, June 08 2013 June 08, 2013 4:13 PM in News
By: Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS - Crabbers are having a hard time finding their prey in Lake Pontchartrain.

Fishermen and seafood dealers offer varying theories to WVUE-TV as to why the brackish lake is not the crab "factory" that it historically has been.

Some blame the BP PLC oil spill or chemicals used to disperse the oil. Others say heavy rain and the closure of the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet channel have combined to increase the share of fresh water in the lake. Others say it's the cool spring weather.

One crabber said he finally filled his traps after shifting them to the marshes of St. Bernard Parish. Others say they're taking non-fishing jobs to pay the bills. Restaurant owners and employees say the shortage has also hit their income.

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