Crawfish 101

Each year, nearly 80 million pounds of procambarid crawfishes are harvested (from aquaculture and from the commercial wild fishery) for food in Louisiana, the nation’s largest producer. This represents more than 95 percent of the domestic crawfish crop. In the past 5 years, an average of 81 percent of the annual crop has come from aquaculture. Two species are commercially harvested— the red swamp crawfish (Procambarus clarkii) and the white river crawfish (Procambarus zonangulus), with the red swamp crawfish dominating the catch.

Whether from aquaculture or the natural fishery, the supply of live crawfish is highly seasonal, with the peak harvest occurring from March through June. Historically, most of the domestic supply has been consumed in Louisiana and surrounding areas, particularly Texas, the Mississippi Gulf coast, and the Florida panhandle. Crawfish can be produced only in certain areas. This, along with the seasonality of supply, unstable prices and cultural mores, has limited crawfish sales nationally. In recent years crawfish have become more widely available because frozen product is being imported.

To read more about the history of the crawfish including the purging process and how to transport & store them, click on the resouceful links below. All information was published by Louisiana State University and the Southern Regional Agricultural Center and the Texas Aquaculture Extension Service...