CROWLEY – Good Friday crawfish boils are a Good Friday tradition in south Louisiana. This year, however, problems with the weather combined with an early Easter created a short supply.
“We definitely didn’t have the supply for this past weekend,” said Ben LaGrange, manager of Atchafalaya Crawfish Processing in Henderson. “This is the first year I’ve had to stop taking orders.”
LaGrange said the problem is a combination of temperature changes, heavy winds that toppled crawfish traps earlier this week and an unusually early Easter, which is set in relation to the phases of the moon.
Good Friday often coincides with the peak of crawfish season, when the Atchafalaya Basin begins producing wild crawfish to augment the pond-raised market.
Crawfish farmers usually work their ponds intensely for three days before Good Friday to meet the high demand, but near tropical storm-strength winds earlier this week frustrated the harvest.
“We just never caught up,” said Lagrange.
Acadia Parish farmers weren’t spared by the weather either.
“We had one field that had about sixty percent of our traps knocked over,” said Scott Broussard, who owns the Crawfish Nest in Crowley. “Dealing with mother nature is a big part of this job and last week she wasn’t too kind to us.”
The Good Friday shortage comes after a season that had a slow start because of cold weather and lack of heavy rains last fall.
Prices have risen slightly over the past week which is good news for farmers, who earlier this year lamented a drop in wholesale prices from more than $2 per pound to $1 per pound.