SHREVEPORT, LA – If you are a fan of Louisiana crawfish, we might have bad news this year. The weather from 2023 could have quite an impact on the crawfish crop for 2024.

The drought an excessive heat we dealt with last year has made it very difficult for crawfish to survive. LSU AgCenter Crawfish Specialist Todd Fontenot tells the Louisiana Radio Network conditions have made it extremely difficult for the bugs to thrive in the swamps across the state.

It does look like it’s going to be a later-than-normal season. We’re anticipating yields to be off somewhat, but how much we don’t know that at this time.

Fontenot says many crawfish farmers made adjustments to try to rotate from rice to crawfish.

A lot of producers did have to spend that extra money to flush those fields, to keep them wet to keep that stubble growing. We’re hoping in those situations that they are not going to see as big as an effect.


Crawfish farmers are beginning to see the effects of the drought and heat. The LSU AgCenter estimates the drought affected about 45,000 acres of crawfish ponds and farmers will probably not be able to fish from another 43,000 acres because of dry ponds or saltwater intrusion.

But Jennings crawfish farmer Zach Hebert is now taking stock of what the crop looks like for this year. He’s not completely pessimistic.

There Could Be Some Light at the End of the Tunnel

He says we are starting to see some promise about what could be a significant crop. But he says the season might be delayed just a bit.

Todd Fontenot with the LSU Ag Center says the heat and drought have the industry in “uncharted waters there's just a lot of unknowns this year with those extreme temperatures we had exactly what that may have done for to reproduction first of all and their survival is our biggest concern.”

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Farmers have been spending lots of money to insure we have a good crop. But prices continue to take a bite out of profits. Bait costs and labor costs are way up.

How Bad Is the Damage to the Crawfish Crop?

The LSU Ag Center estimates the damage to Louisiana's crawfish industry at nearly $140 million dollars.


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