Crawfish in high demand on last weekend of Lent

The last weekend of Lent means lots of people are making last-minute seafood runs. Bottom line: They want crawfish, and area seafood markets are doing what they can to keep up.

At Michael's Seafood on Jefferson Highway, there was no shortage of mudbugs on Good Friday.

Owner Michael Gangi's holiday weekend sales prediction number are high.

"Between my two places, [we'll sell] 70,000 to 80,000 pounds," Gangi said.

Which is good news, considering that too much cold weather put a pinch on this year's crawfish season. Gangi said it has been a tough year for seafood all the way around.

"This is the highest I've ever seen prices," said Gangi. "Been doing this since I was 12 years old. Not just crawfish, an increase in shrimp and crabs."

At Michael's, crawfish are $2.70 per pound live and $3.49 boiled. Twenty-one-count shrimp are $5.50 a pound.

And at Kenney's Seafood in Slidell, business was so brisk they hired a police officer to keep an eye on customers and parking.

Customers at Bevi Seafood on Airline in Metairie say their seafood-filled holiday is just getting started. Owner Justin Leblanc says he expects to sell up to 7,000 pounds of crawfish this weekend - as much as he can get his hands on.

"The price went up for Easter like always, but we expect a huge drop after Easter -  within a week or two - 50 cents less, 75 maybe - even a dollar right after Easter," said Leblanc.

Until then, for those craving crawfish, they're worth every penny, and there's a very good chance your best bet is yet to come.

"Hopefully we'll have an extended season," said Leblanc. "Once things warm up, maybe into June, even July. So that's all you can ask for."

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