Crawfish prices higher due to recent cold snaps

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Wednesday marked the first day of Lent with Catholics across the world taking part in mass, communion and a cross on their forehead.  

Some give up meat on Fridays in observance of Lent and rely on seafood.  In south Louisiana, crawfish is something many rely on, not just on Fridays, but all through Lent and beyond.

"Lent is our busiest time of the year," said Sammy's manager John Bell.

Bell said Spring is even busier than football season but supply is becoming a problem this year all because of the frigid temperatures.  So far this year, Louisiana has had four wintry mix days in an eight week period.  That's more than Louisiana sees in four years.  

"We're getting all these cold snaps and that's hurting the catch," said Bell.

It's also taking a toll on prices with Bell saying they're paying anywhere between a $1.00-$1.50 more per pound for live crawfish.

"This is probably the highest we've seen them.  I mean we're paying more for crawfish this year than we have in the past," said Bell.

Bell said on average, prices are about $3 higher, but they try their best not to pass the buck on to the customer.  Five lbs are up to $27.53, but sometimes you just have to fulfill that craving.

"It's higher this year," said Joey Nola, who has been going to Sammy's for the past 15 years.  "But it's worth it."

"We'll probably order more but because they're so expensive, we're ordering less," said Drew Walsh, another Sammy's customer.

But they're choosing restaurants instead of doing their own boils like Walsh did over the weekend.

"(It's) quite expensive, about $400 just for the crawfish to boil so we're not going to have that many crawfish boils at that price," said Walsh.

Bell expects for the prices to stabilize around Easter and for the size to actually get bigger within just a couple of more weeks.

So as many pinch, peel and pull, savor the small to medium critters until the sun shines bright increasing supply to keep up with the demand.