March 14, 2010

It is a common practice for many producers harvesting throughout a season to throw back smaller crawfish. This is usually done with an “in-boat” grading system. However, doing this may actually do more harm than good.

Crawfish populations are density dependent (they grow larger if more room is available) and producers who throw crawfish back into the pond may be contributing to higher densities and smaller overall crawfish populations. Throwing the smaller crawfish back does not necessarily mean that the crawfish will be caught again later at a larger size.

Therefore, if producers are catching large numbers of smaller crawfish, it may be better to sell what they can rather than throw them back into the pond. This allows for population density in the ponds to become a little more controlled and still allows for the crawfish to be sold, even if peelers.



6 Responses to “Harvesting”

  1. Doguet Crawfish Farm said

    What about dumping the smalls in a different pond that wasn’t stocked the year before?

  2. r said

    What are expected yields for monocroping, rice-crawfish rotation? What are LSU’s yields in highly managed ponds?

    • Each year, we publish yields from the responses of farmers in every parish. Many of the ponds we see are crawfish-rice rotation systems. The number for 2008 for crawfish production per acre on average was 600 lbs. For monocrop systems, that number should be higher, usually between 800-1000 lbs. The crawfish ponds at LSU generally yield 1000 lbs or more per year and are on a monocropping system.

  3. Mark DeRouen Sr said

    Is there any study that has analysed how much additional cost there is to a rice crop from a crawfish rice rotation. In other words how much is spent to relevel fields( laser leveled), and the added cost of chemical after crawfish to get ready for rice.

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