One common question around Louisiana and other states is: When is Crawfish Season?. While it is true that there is no “official” crawfish season, in the legally regulated sense such as commercial shrimping or crabbing, the typical crawfish season tends to start in March and end sometime in June. When people say “crawfish season”, they are referring to a time of the year when crawfish are: 1) big enough to enjoy in a crawfish boil, 2) cheap enough to afford (usually around $2-3 / lb for live crawfish) and 3) readily available.
As spring sets in and temperatures start to warm up a bit, rainfall tends to increase and this starts the crawfish season. This tends to happen around late February / early March, but can vary greatly depending on how much rain December and January had. If there it rains quite a bit in the fall / winter months and then warms up early, the crawfish season will usually start a little earlier.
Crawfish Season – Supply, Demand, Price and Size
The economy of Crawfish season is a delicate balance of supply and demand mixed in with price and crawfish size. As the crawfish supply goes up, the abundance triggers one crawfish boil after another, causing demand to go up, which regulates the price of crawfish at around the $2.50 / lb range. The downside of the increase supply is that the crawfish farms tend to get crowded, which causes the crawfish to stay smaller. The crawfish fisherman has to find the perfect balance of harvesting in order to maintain a steady supply of decent sized crawfish to meet the demand.
My Favorite Time to buy Crawfish
My “crawfish season” starts a little later than others. I watch the prices and wait for them to get to just over $2. Once they’ve dropped below $2.50 / lb, I know that it’s getting close. The past few years, come Easter Sunday, they are at $1.99/lb and perfect sized. That’s when the crawfish boils become a weekly event with our friends.
My wife’s favorite time to buy crawfish is practically year round, though. She would eat crawfish in the middle of winter if they were easy to get. I guess it just comes down to personal preference, but winter is definitely not what most would consider part of “crawfish season”.
You can find more info at wikipedia’s page on crawfish.