How is this Year's Catch?

Thursday, February 12, 2009 - 5:38pm

This is the time of year when people start thinking about one of Louisiana’s favorite foods—crawfish. So how is this year’s catch? FNBR’s Lauren Unger went to the Atchafalaya Basin to find out.

Willie Granger knows his way around the Atchafalaya Basin. He’s made a living off catching crawfish since he was a young boy. He says, “It’s like a part of your life, your blood.” It’s a part of his life that boils down to putting food on Louisiana tables with a catch that can be unpredictable at best.

Granger explains, “You’ve got to look for the certain conditions where it’s favorable for them at the time.” But this year, mother nature dealt them quite the blow, two storms right in a row caused all the trees to come down and that made it difficult for fishermen to get to their traps. That turns a normal trip through the bayou into a maze of tree trimming just to get to the trap. That is if the traps are still even in place and functional. Granger lost around 400 traps to Gustav and Ike.

So does that mean fewer mudbugs at a higher price? So far the catch has been slow, but not terrible. Granger says, “If I had to tell you what I see, don’t expect much. But, I’m going to tell you how we work. We actually believe what we don’t see so we believe we’re going to have a good season.”

Fishermen are watching the basin to bring home a Louisiana tradition.

Experts also say, so far, it seems pond-raised crawfish crops are also looking low. But everybody emphasizes, if you want crawfish, you should still be able to find them.