Short, Rough Crawfish Season as Ponds Dry Out & Mudbugs Burrow

Mudbugs are getting bigger just as prices are dropping, but WGNO News Anchor Vanessa Bolano reports it’s all happening just as crawfish season is coming to a screeching halt.

There’s lots of action at the Westwego Seafood Market as many are scrambling to get what could be their final fix of crawfish this season.

Seafood distributor Wayne Hebert says, “It started off slow because of the cold weather. Now it’s picking up, but it’s getting close to the end of the season.”

Hebert owns Wayne Hebert’s Seafood at the Westwego Seafood Market. Thanks to an unseasonably cold winter Herbert says this crawfish season is among the worst.He says just as it’s starting to get better with prices stabilizing and people buying, the LSU Ag Center says the mudbugs are burrowing as ponds dry out in the summertime heat.

“They’re starting to get hard now when the water gets low,” describes Herbert.

New Orleans transplant Brad Bohannan plans to keep crawfish on his menu. Bohannan owns three bars and hosts a crawfish boil every weekend at Turtle Bay in the French Quarter. He’s gone to great lengths to keep the mudbugs coming in and hopes it’ll be quite some time before Mother Nature pulls the plug on his party.

“We’re already sweet talking the guys at the seafood market to hold us sacks back, and we’re good to them so guess what? We get to keep them a little bit longer than everybody else,” says Bohannan.

Back in Westwego Wayne Hebert is already looking forward to what’s coming next, but he says the late cold snap seems to be affecting that as well.

“Crabs are running late. They’ve been real high. Shrimp have been running late. They’re running smaller, and it’s just thrown everything later by a month, month and a half,” says Hebert.

Hebert says the smaller crabs are selling for $15 to $17 a dozen at the Westwego Seafood Market. That’s roughly double what crabs we’re selling for last year.

As for the crawfish, distributors believe they`ll be very difficult to find past the 4th of July.

Bohannan plans to continue crawfish boils as long as possible. He says he’s boiling all weekend at Turtle Bay in the French Quarter.