Unusual crawfish could prolong mudbug season

Food and Fun

POSTED: Tuesday, July 20, 2010 - 4:06pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 3:34pm

Crawfish boils in September? They could be closer than you think. That's if scientists at LSU AgCenter figure out how to harvest an unusual type of mudbug.

It may not look like a crawfish, but it tastes like one. "It looks as much like a shrimp as an animal can look if its a crawfish," says Dr. Greg Lutz with the LSU AgCenter.

The shrimp crawfish, as it's officially named, is smaller than the typical Red Swamp crawfish we're used to,  but they have one big advantage. The shrimp crawfish lays its eggs in February, so they can be harvested in the fall, which means crawfish season could last twice a year.

Scientists at the AgCenter collected 40 of the species and turned that collection in several thousand of the little guys. Now, they're researching the best conditions for the species to grow. They want to find the best way to commercialize the crustaceans.

However, the process is slow going. Fall boils may have to wait, at least for a few years. "Impatience. People would like to have some of these come football season," says Lutz, "but I think its going to be several years before we get to that point."

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