Cajun rancher Charles Broussard needs a favor from above: Oodles of rain to wash away the salt that Hurricane Rita deposited in his crawfish and rice ponds, ruining them.
Broussard is not alone after Rita pushed the Gulf of Mexico more than 17 miles inland, inundating 6,000 acres of crawfish and about 140,000 acres of rice, the Louisiana State University AgCenter says.
A drought has worsened matters because the salt left behind isn't being flushed out. Broussard says it might take years for production to get swinging again.
Their plight has Louisianans facing the unthinkable: life without crawfish. Already this year, fewer crawfish boils are filling the air of parks and church yards with the smell of mudbugs stewing in cayenne pepper and paprika.
But, the AP holds out hope for crawfish lovers:
"The typical consumer shouldn't give up on the crawfish boil this year," said Greg Lutz, an aquaculture specialist. "They might just have to wait a bit longer."
So, should I feel guilty about taking some of these precious crustaceans out of the Bayou and onto my dinner plate? Well, my crawfish were actually farmed a ways off from Louisiana - China to be exact. Mardi Gras Moo Goo Gai Pan for everyone!