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Crawfish Farmers Get Tips for New Season

US - Harvesting is the most expensive part of producing crawfish, so reducing that cost can mean the difference between profit and loss, says Robert Romaire, LSU AgCenter aquaculture specialist.

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.

Source: DeltaFarmPress