Avery Theriot has been fishing in the Atchafalaya Basin since he could walk. This year is one of the worst he’s ever seen for crawfish. Last summer was the hottest on record in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, and Louisiana suffered its worst-ever drought, fueling wildfires and triggering a saltwater intrusion into the Mississippi River. It hurt farmers of all types of crops, and crawfish couldn’t burrow into dried out soil to lay their eggs.
“I’m going on eight months sitting at home waiting for Mother Nature to send me some water,” said Theriot, who has more than 4,000 traps in the swamp and is president of the Louisiana Crawfish Producers Association–West.