BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - This Mardi Gras you may be eating more king cake than crawfish. One seafood vendor on the coast said they're only selling them a few days out of the week. But they're confident the supply will improve.
"It's not like you can substitute it with a steak or with barbecue. You know, you want seafood, you want seafood," said customer Derrick Cutler.
The below average temperature this January is curbing the crawfish supply. Quality Poultry and Seafood Business Manager Jim Gunkel said his crawfish supply is limited.
"With the cold weather. The crawfish tend to hide they bury down in the mud so they are harder to get to," said Quality Poultry and Seafood Business Manager Jim Gunkel.
Gunkel said crawfish farmers also don't want to work in the bitter cold. With carnival season in full swing, Gunkel said business is taking a bit of a hit since the busiest time of the year is just around the corner.
"We're really concerned about the end of January, the beginning of February when football season comes to an end with the Super Bowl the big parties really start. And then going into Mardi Gras, of course. It's an early Mardi Gras this year. We want to make sure that the weather gets warm so that the people will have the crawfish available to them," said Gunkel.
Though the chill has yet to really make an impact on crawfish prices, if Old Man Winter sticks around much longer we could see a rise.
"If we keep having these cold snaps and there's fewer crawfish, of course, it's gonna drive the price up and the farmers are going to want more money because they're not making as much," said Gunkel.
For now, Quality Poultry and Seafood is selling crawfish on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and possibly some Wednesdays. They're counting on the warmer weather to get here soon so they can offer the tasty crustaceans more often.