Can shrimp crawfish bridge Louisiana's two seasons?

by Nathan Stubbs

As the old saying goes, there's only two seasons of note in Louisiana: football and crawfish. Our favorite boiled crustacean's reproductive cycle has always remained inexorably opposite the fall frenzy of football on the calendar, preventing crawfish boil tailgate parties from ever taking place, as if combining the two rituals would result in unbridled gorging and debauchery on a scale that would rival Mardi Gras, and threaten to tilt our equilibriums into a perpetual state of confusion.

An LSU professor is now exploring just that possibility. The Associated Press reports that Greg Lutz, an aquaculture specialist at the university's agriculture center, is experimenting with raising shrimp crawfish, a slightly smaller cousin to the red swamp and white river crawfish Louisianians are accustomed to. Shrimp crawfish also work on a different reproductive clock, laying their eggs in Spring and becoming full sized in October and November. While there are some added difficulties with raising shrimp crawfish, Lutz is now monitoring growth of about 2,000 juvenile shrimp crawfish in outdoor tanks. If all goes well, he hopes to help establish several ponds to harvest over the next three - with crawfish arriving at tailgate parties shortly thereafter. Read the full article here.