Jan 5, 2024 - Food and Drink

Louisiana crawfish shortage blamed on drought and extreme heat

Photo shows crawfish being scooped out of a boil

Spring crawfish boils are right around the corner. Photo: Erika Goldring/WireImage for The Recording Academy

Crawfish producers say there's a shortage in Louisiana, placing blame on last year's record heat and extreme drought, according to Meg Farris at WWL.

Why it matters: It's not spring in New Orleans until you've pinched the tails, sucked the heads and washed everything down with an Abita Strawberry.

Driving the news: Seafood shops tell Farris that crawfish may arrive in the coming weeks, but they are going to be smaller and expensive.

By the numbers: Live crawfish could be more than $7 per pound early in the season, Farris writes.

  • For comparison, live crawfish were $3.88 per pound in January 2022, according to KLFY.

Meanwhile, vendors in Texas are also reporting a crawfish shortage that's leading to higher prices.

State of play: 2023 was one of the New Orleans' driest years in nearly eight decades, according to the National Weather Service.

  • Louisiana also had its hottest summer on record, and several cities, including New Orleans, broke their daily heat records.

Zoom in: 99% of Louisiana remains in a drought, according to the weekly U.S. Drought Monitor. A year ago, it was less than 6%.

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