Lafayette, LA (KPEL News) - The grim 2024 crawfish season in south Louisiana has garnered the attention of CBS news. With producers reporting 10 to 15% of the normal harvest, the industry is hurting. Add to that the fact that the 2023 drought is largely to blame, and you've got a recipe for news organizations to take notice because it rings the climate change bell.

Whether climate change or the typical ebb and flow of Louisiana weather is to blame, the national attention on Cajun Country and the industries that keep it moving underscores our value to the country and how badly our crawfish industry is hurting.

Janet Shamlian with CBS Saturday Morning made a trip to Lafayette and Acadiana to find out how bad the crawfish situation is and hear from people in the industry. You'll find a link to watch the story at the end of this article.

The people the reporter talked to and visited are familiar to many Acadiana residents who have lived here for years.

CAJUN TABLE

Cajun Table started as a food truck in 2015 and could be seen at local festivals, in downtown Lafayette, and food truck rallies. The Suires decided to transition to a bricks and mortar location in 2017 when they moved into their location on Ambassador Caffery in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Shawn Suire fishes 350 acres and sets out about 4000 crawfish traps. He told CBS reporter Janet Shamlian that, in a normal year, he would be catching 30-40 sacks a day. This year, he said he's getting 7-8 sacks.

ACADIA CRAWFISH COMPANY

Scott Broussard and his wife Julie own Acadia Crawfish Company in Crowley. The wholesaler provides tail meat to restaurants and other businesses around the country. The story shows empty rooms where peelers are usually popping tails and peeling them for packing and shipping. Several of their trucks are sitting idle, and only a couple dozen sacks of crawfish are stored in a room that should be stacked high.

Last year at this time, Scott says they were selling crawfish for $2.75 per pound. Today, it's $10 per pound.

Scott mentioned to Janet that the current state of crawfish season has been a gut-punch to people who rely on it for income.

HAWK'S RESTAURANT

The name Hawk's is synonymous with crawfish. Anthony Arceneaux has owned the popular restaurant known for long lines and delicious mudbugs. He told Janet that, on a typical weekend night, they would sell about 2000 pounds of crawfish.

As of today, the restaurant isn't open, and Anthony doesn't expect it to be open until late March, at least.

All of these business owners are hopeful that they will be able to salvage the season in the next couple of months. As Crawfish Corner Opelousas posted:


 

As for the CBS story, it did a good job of painting the picture of how bad crawfish season is for the people in the industry. South Louisianans are talking about the state of crawfish season and are sad that the staple of Cajun Country is in such short supply.

I was miffed that the person at the anchor desk after the end of the story talked about how much Jazz Fest would suffer. Can we talk about Louisiana as a whole and the fact that everyone, from producer to consumer, is feeling it?

And the reporter calling Lafayette the heart of "Creole Country" annoyed me, maybe more than it should have.

Someone remind CBS that Louisiana isn't just New Orleans.

Now that I've gotten that out of my system, please say a few prayers for our crawfish farmers that they see some relief before the season is a total bust.

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