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Crawfish farmers in Southeast Texas gearing up, getting ready for busy Easter weekend

Farmers said from purging the pots to picking the traps, it's hard work to get crawfish ready.

HAMSHIRE, Texas — Crawfish farms across Southeast Texas are gearing up and getting ready for what they feel is going to be a big and busy weekend.

“It's just Easter weekend,” Alan Gaulding, owner of Southeast Texas Crawfish Farm, said. “It's the busy weekend." 

Gaulding's family started selling crawfish in the late 80s.

Orders at the Southeast Texas Crawfish Farm located off Interstate 10 have been booked for weeks. Gaulding feels the location of the farm helps to bring in business.

"We're on the Interstate, so a lot of people see the crawfish traps out in the field, so we get a lot of traffic from that,” Gaulding said. “We don’t do any wholesale. Pretty much everything we do is for individuals who come up and want fresh crawfish."

It is time now time for farm crews to meet their high crawfish demand. The last-minute rush is on and they are stocking up for a sold-out weekend 

Crews at the farm said from purging the pots to picking the traps, it's hard work to get crawfish ready.

"The size is really pretty,” Gaulding said. “It's actually a little bigger than we usually get this time of year."

By noon on Tuesday, the crew already sacked and stored 2,000 pounds of the mudbugs.

"As long as they stay cool and wet, they survive for a week or two," Gaulding said. "We usually don't hold them that long. We usually hold them for three or four days."

Despite the amount of work done Tuesday, crews are set to go back to the farm to clear the traps again. They have to empty the fish, refill the bait and repeat.

“It's just fresh water, and it just washes the dirt off of them, and lets them clean their systems out, that way they don’t have that gritty taste to ‘em,” Gaulding said. “You get a cleaner meat when you cook the crawfish.”

Fidencio Olvera is a crawfish farmer who is known as “Fide” on the farm. He enjoys working on the farm.

"Pays good," Olvera said. "Does good. Good people. I mean, I spend more time with crawfish than I do with people." 

The hard work takes months of preparations, but farmers feel all the hard work is worth it when the calls begin to come in.

“If you call on the week of Easter, you aren't going to be able to find any crawfish," Gaulding said. "We're booked up, and every other farmer is booked up right now.

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