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Hurricane Havoc for Crawfish Producers

US - Rain resulting from Hurricane Gustav across the crawfish-producing areas of Louisiana may cause problems for crawfish producers, according to LSU AgCenter aquaculture specialists Greg Lutz and Mark Shirley.

Rainfall ranged from a couple of inches to more than 20 inches in a few isolated spots, Lutz told TheTownTalk. Even though this is free water, it may cause producers to lose crawfish because water quality quickly deteriorates.

This time of year, it is better to drain the stormwater out of crawfish ponds as soon as possible, Shirley said. In the coming weeks, daytime temperatures will be in the 90s again, and trying to maintain water quality through pumping and flushing will be economically impossible.

According to the new agency, if the field has rice or rice stubble, producers can keep a couple of inches to help the rice continue growing during September.

If sorghum sudangrass was planted as crawfish forage, drain the field completely as soon as possible, Shirley said. Ponds with wild vegetation of grasses and sedges should be completely drained as well.

Lutz said poor water quality is often a serious problem in crawfish ponds as well as fish ponds and waterways after tropical storms and hurricanes have passed.

Ellen Hardy

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