Crawfish Prices In New Orleans – NEW ORLEANS — The 2020 crawfish season is off to a good start, with prices half of what they were a year ago and two to three times the supply.
In Bucktown, the center of the Jefferson Parish seafood markets on Lake Pontchartrain, Clint St. Philippe, manager of Captain Sid’s Seafood, said the size is still not up to par, though he expects it to improve weekly.
Crawfish Prices In New Orleans
“What’s really early is the price,” he said. “Prices dropped 75 cents last week, as soon as that happened it was like the middle of the season.”
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According to The Crawfish App, which tracks prices, live crawfish sell for as little as $2.29 a pound in South Louisiana, while cooked crawfish can be found for $3.49 a pound. Lainey King, who co-founded the app with her husband Ryan, said a year ago the average price for a pound of live crawfish in South Louisiana was $4.50, while cooked crawfish cost nearly $7. King said prices usually aren’t as low before Mardi Gras.
“The warm winter weather has really helped the crayfish to grow and the farmers to catch them,” she said. In response to the large supply and to generate customer demand for things like early crawfish boils, businesses are cutting prices.
Greg Lutz, a professor at the LSU AgCenter Aquaculture Research Station who has studied crayfish for more than 30 years, said weather conditions in the late summer and early fall kept crayfish numbers high.
Crayfish eggs begin to hatch in late August, and the chicks cling to their mother’s tail for several weeks while she remains in her burrow. When heavy rains occur, the rivers overflow into ditches and ponds, and the chicks run away. “The rainfall we had got a lot of crayfish out of the ground pretty early,” Lutz said.
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Farmers are trying to maximize the yield and size of this year’s crop by selling off early supplies of crayfish. Lutz said pond density determines how large rivers can grow. “It doesn’t matter how much feed you give them, but if the rakes are collected in the pond, they won’t grow as well,” he said.
“A year ago, we were selling 60 to 80 bags of crawfish a week,” said Will Booth, owner-manager of Capital City Crawfish in Baton Rouge, a market on Government Street that also has wholesale and community services. “This year, we are selling about 250 sacks a week in live and cooked form. We got off to a really good start.”
While it’s still early and there’s a lot that can go wrong this crawfish season, such as a late cold snap, Booth said prices will be the lowest they’ve been in eight years. He predicts Capital City Crawfish will sell 800 to 900 bags at the Easter peak; last year they sold 500 to 600 bags. “We had almost no cold weather this year, maybe three frosts, no frosts,” he said. “It helped a lot.”
Bud Guilbeau, owner of Prejean’s in Lafayette, said the volume and low prices in late January prompted him to start selling boiled crawfish at the restaurant for the first time since 1995. When Prejean’s opened in 1980, it sold only boiled crayfish, crab and shrimp. but he abandoned the program because demand was greater for fried seafood and award-winning crawfish itoufi.
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“Originally, we weren’t going to start before early to mid-February. It turned out that the rivers are already good and plentiful. I decided to pull the trigger a little early and so far so good,” he said. “We’re still trying to get the word out. All our marketing plans were calculated for the beginning of February. We tried to convey as much information as we could.”
Since December, Justin LeBlanc has been selling crawfish at Bevi Seafood Co., his combination shop/convenience store in New Orleans, not far from City Park. He just reopened his Metairie location last week when prices dropped and supply started to rise.
“Things are a lot better than last year,” he said. “Now we’re already seeing prices that we didn’t see before Lent last year.”
The signs of a strong season are a relief to LeBlanc, who said last year was a “perfect storm” of difficulties between cold weather that hampered the harvest and a late Lent that pushed back the traditional time of high demand for boilies.
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“People haven’t started looking for it yet, they don’t have a backyard boil yet, so I think they’re going to be surprised at where everything is now,” he said. “It’ll be a good Mardi Gras for boils.”
However, as an experienced crayfish trader, LeBlanc also knows that nothing is certain when the product is so dependent on the weather.
“We feel good, but you have to knock on wood, because as soon as you say that there may be a cold.”
“If I could predict how crayfish prices would rise, I wouldn’t need this job anymore,” he said. “You have to buy them while the prices are good because you never know what’s going to happen.” Clesi’s, Bevi Seafood Co., Seithers and Crawfish King are selling hot boiled crawfish in early 2022.
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The restaurant’s first publicized crawfish boil happened about a month ago in Mid-City at Clesi’s, a favorite spot for seasonal food. But crawfish season and carnival season usually go hand-in-hand, and with King’s Day, Jan. 6 behind us, New Orleans restaurants are officially in full swing of bug season.
Top local seafood destinations like Clesi’s, nearby Bevi Seafood Co., Harahan’s Seithers Seafood and Crawfish King in Gentilly have all alerted diners that crawfish season is upon them, and while some have gotten an early start with special December jams, they are now on the menu permanently. Bevy’s first boil was a few weeks before New Year’s and they’ve been running it every weekend since.
Crawfish King, a seafood and barbecue restaurant and market from longtime crawfish owner Chris “Shaggy” Davis, also sells bags for weeks, and here, unlike other places, live crawfish are also available for boils. home — this weekend they will go for $3.75 a pound live and $5.75 a pound cooked. And after a few weeks off for the holidays, Jason Seithers of Seithers Seafood in Harahan is back on the boil, as he is this week, serving up crawfish trays known for unexpected inclusions like sweet potatoes, artichokes and whole garlic cloves.
Be sure to check restaurants’ social media pages or call before you go to make sure they have raki. For a full list of places to find boiled crawfish in New Orleans, check out Eater’s guide. In the Touchdown Super Boil, the rookie Saints, who know nothing about crawfish, eat them. And some even try to peel them.
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Check the latest crawfish prices every Thursday afternoon with the Crawfish Price Index. From New Orleans to the North Shore to the West Bank and beyond, shop local and support our community partners.
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CROWLEY, La. (KLFY) – Crawfish prices are expected to be higher overall than last year. Inflation affects everyone, including crayfish farmers who have to pay more for fuel, bait and labor. Increased supply should help now that farmers are growing crops with migrant workers, but colder weather […]
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Gather your team, wear a shirt with your company logo and bring a stack of business cards. Get ready for 2,000+ pounds of Louisiana bugs, beer, music and outdoor fun! WESTWEGO, La. (WVUE) – At Perino’s Boiling Pot, the kitchen is serving up more and more bright red boiled crawfish for hungry customers. And as the crawfish season begins, demand at the West Bank seafood shop is expected to increase, as is Westwego’s shrimp.
“I came here for a bag of crayfish and big shrimp. I love seafood,” said customer Stanley Martin.
Martin and many others flocked to the site before lunch on Monday. Live crawfish are a little harder to come by right now after the recent cold snap boosted the early season harvest, sellers say. But they said customers just have to wait a little longer to get the prices and sizes they prefer.
“They were up to $5.50 a pound, then they were $5 a pound, and now they’re $4.75 a pound,” said Susie Oubre of Ruth’s Seafood. “They’re coming back, and they’re getting bigger, too.”
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While prices have fluctuated since the start of the season due to cold weather and inflation, customers say
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