First river parish crawfish boil competition scheduled despite shortage
ST. JAMES - Near empty traps are crippling the crawfish industry, and as a result, restaurants are unable to start boiling.
"That is our biggest issue, we're hoping we can get enough, that is our biggest fear, but we are staying hopeful," Myla Oubre, the President, Big 3 Productions said.
The lack of product isn't stopping organizers from hosting their crawfish boil competition in St. James. For the first time, cooks can register and pay a $125 fee.
The plan is for two sacks to be provided. Oubre is hopeful that her distributor has enough by the April 20 date.
"He thinks the price of crawfish will go down, he said in about two weeks he will be able to gauge how it will be in April," Oubre said.
The historic summer drought killed the carry over crawfish, then farmers were challenged again during a recent freeze.
"So even those few crawfish that we have are growing very slowly. They won't be big enough to catch in a trap until March or early April," Mark Shirley with the LSU Ag center previously told WBRZ.
Congressman Clay Higgins is now asking for federal relief for the state's crawfish industry. In a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, Higgins says the industry is facing an estimated loss of $140 million this year.
"This year, we're not going to see the catch go up all that much so we'll probably have higher prices on through the rest of the spring on into April and May so that's just how it is," Shirley said.
Oubre says if the season stays the same, they'll have to change their plans for the event to be a family day.
"Hopefully the crawfish come through for us so we can put on this event and bring the community together for something positive," Oubre said.
The last day to sign up is April 6. The competition will be held in Welcome Park in St. James on April 20.
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