The catching and processing of crawfish is a huge industry in Louisiana. While much of Louisiana's annual crop of crawfish comes from native swamps and bayous, another important source of the crustacean is from farms.
We get many questions like "Where can I tour a crawfish farm?" and "Where can I take my school group to learn more about crawfish?" We discuss some answers on this web page.
Crawfish traps on a commercial crawfish pond in Louisiana
Louisiana commercial crawfish farmers provide 85% of domestically produced crawfish to Louisiana markets and across the nation.
Louisiana’s crawfish farming industry has grown to include more than 1,200 farms occupying more than 120,000 acres. Crawfish ponds have no standard size, but most are between 10 and 40 acres, and most producers manage 150 or fewer acres.
Some farmers use the crawfish ponds for growing rice at other times of the year.
The Jefferson Davis Parish Tourist Commission offers field trips and group tours for those interested in how the crawfish industry works. The tours are popular with tourists, area residents and student and school groups.
The crawfish tour begins with a visit to the Tietje Crawfish Farm, a 65-acre pond near Roanoke, where the crawfish’s habitat and harvesting process are showcased.
Participants will stand on a dock, over a pond, while Burt Tietje describes the process. Viewers will also hear about the biology of the species such as dietary information, pond ecology, and harvesting equipment.
After visitors finish their lesson in harvesting crawfish, a trip to the I-10 Crawfish Cooperative begins the explanation of the marketing sector. The I-10 Cooperative will demonstrate the cleaning, grading, and distribution process. Visitors will gain an appreciation of the labor required to supply crawfish for those popular boils and for delicious recipes.
Tours also include a visit to Gator Chateau to learn more about, and see first hand, live alligators and their habitats.
|Scenes at the Crawfish Tour (photos courtesy of Jeff Davis Parish)|
Tours are seasonal, often March to May. For more information, schedules and pricing on the crawfish tours, visit www.JeffDavis.org
Reservations are required. Call the Jeff Davis Parish Tourism Office to book a tour at 337.821.5521. Tours are available for groups of 10 or more. Call the office to see if a scheduled group is going on your date, as you may be able to join an existing group tour.
Mrs. Rose’s Crawfish Haven/Bed and Breakfast near Kaplan, Louisiana, is a country home-turned-hotel where guests can harvest crawfish in a nearby pond and boil them up for supper. The home was built in 1903.
Barry Toups owns the fields next to the bed-and-breakfast and farms them for crawfish. For an extra fee, he will take guests in his boat and show them how crawfish are harvested. Cajun cooking classes and Cajun dinner specials are also offered. The B&B features three rooms of varying sizes and amenities.
Also offered are seasonal crawfish excursions and tours. Guests can experience firsthand how these amazing crustaceans come to appear on our tables. A guide will assist in a unique boat ride allowing tour members to catch their own crawfish. Later, visitors can end the evening with their own crawfish boil in true Cajun style (for registered guests only).
|Scenes at the Crawfish Haven near Kaplan, Louisiana
If visitors prefer, they can catch crawfish the old-fashioned way, using hand nets and bait provided by Crawfish Haven.
The facility is located at 6807 Highway 35, north of Kaplan, LA 70548, near Abbeville, Gueydan, Lafayette and Rayne. Phone 337.652.8870.
For more information on your tour or stay in Cajun Country at the B&B, visit www.CrawfishHaven.net