Freshwater crayfish aquaculture farming in Louisiana goes back to the beginning of man moving into the area. The crayfish is a staple of the area and one of the favored foods for the local population. The industry didn’t really get started until the 1930’s because refrigeration and highways were not available until then. Since then there is another story. Crayfish aquaculture is accomplished by flooding the rice fields after harvest and then introducing crayfish until the next planting. The two benefit from each other and the farmer benefits from both with increased production. Aquaculture takes on many different forms!
Crawfish are a legacy of Louisiana
Throughout the history of south Louisiana crawfish were a highly sought-after food source.
Early French settlers as far back as the mid-1700s caught crawfish with the “bait-on-the-string” method. And by 1880, a commercial production of 10,000 pounds of crawfish worth $800 was reported in a government publication.
By the 1920s, annual commercial production averaged about 100,000 pounds. Because of problems such as inefficient capture methods (primarily dip nets), lack of adequate highways and a transportation infrastructure, and poorly developed preservation methods, growth of the industry proceeded slowly until the 1930s.
By then, improvements in gear, transportation and preservation, along with population increases in south Louisiana, significantly increased commercial catches.
From the 1930s up until the late 1940s, crawfish production was from the wild. Production during that period averaged about a million or so pounds per year. To finish reading Crawfish are a legacy of Louisiana click here.
Ever wondered how traditional Louisiana crawfish farmers get it done? This video shows you how.
Louisiana Crawfish and Rice Farm – America’s Heartland