Speaking at 2007 Crawfish Farmers Association Expo at Rayne, Romaire said 3/4-inch square-mesh pyramid traps are the most effective and that bait fish work best in colder water — less than 70 degrees. However, manufactured bait was more effective in warmer temperatures and is less expensive.
"Traps should be baited with no more than one-third pound of material," he said. The most effective number of traps is 10 to 15 per acre in a low-density pond common to Louisiana, but 18 traps to 22 traps per acre are recommended for high-density ponds.
Harvesting every other day also provides larger crawfish, he said.
"Fluctuations are common in harvests, Romaire said, with the catch declining around the time of a full moon, which stimulates the molting phase for crawfish. That’s true of other crustaceans, such as crabs. They won’t feed until their shells harden and flushing a pond sometimes prompts molting” Romaire said.
Catches generally decline after a cold front, Romaire said, and improve after rainfall.
Romaire said the white spot syndrome virus that struck numerous ponds earlier in 2007 may not be as much of a problem after all. He said research, partially funded by crawfish producers’ self-assessed fees, is being done to learn more about the disease.