The life cycle of a crawfish can be fairly straight forward.
The life cycle of a crawfish can be fairly straight forward. In the summer months, crawfish reproduce in underground mud burrows with a plug of mud on top of the burrow to protect them from predators. In late summer and early fall, rain softens the mud plugs so the crawfish can push their way out of the burrows and enter ponds, where they feed, molt and grow throughout Louisiana’s typically mild winters. Spring then brings crawfish harvest season.
However, temperature and seasonal weather changes can affect this life cycle. Variability can have a costly effect on the industry, which has experienced considerable growth over the past two decades. For example, the 2018-19 Louisiana crawﬁsh season produced 151.8 million pounds of crawfish with an economic value of $209.5 million compared to 82 million pounds valued at about $45 million in the 2004-05 season, according to the LSU AgCenter. To help inform farmers, researchers at LSU are the first to quantify how rainfall and temperature affect crawfish harvest yields.
“Providing farmers and producers with more information on how their catch and livelihood may ﬂuctuate due to environmental conditions can help make them more resilient in the future,” said LSU Assistant Professor-Research and the Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program Climate Research Director Vincent Brown, who is the lead author on this study published in Climate Research.
Brown and his colleagues analyzed eight years of crawfish harvest data from six LSU Aquaculture Research Station ponds. They used a statistical model to identify the most significant temperature and weather variables that impact crawfish.
Read more at Louisiana State University
Image: Shelby Hauck and Ryan Williams unload freshly harvested crawfish at the LSU AgCenter Aquaculture Research Station. (Credit: LSU AgCenter)