Crawfish-Waterfowl, A Multiple Use Concept For Impounded Marshes

A study was initiated in order to evaluate crawfish (Procambarus clarki) production in several impoundments managed for waterfowl on Rockefeller Refuge, Grand Chenier, Louisiana. Impoundments have been intensively managed for waterfowl on the refuge for the past 16 years, however, this has been through a gravity flow system. Pumping units were installed in three ofthe impoundments in 1968, bringing under water control some 6,000 acres of marshland. Certain management techniques employed in these impoundments, particularly in the areas controlled by pumping units, have significantly increased the production of crawfish as well as desirable waterfowl food plants. It is hoped that programs of this nature will stimulate the owners of large tracts of marshes to manage their holdings for wildlife. It is probable that more wetlands would be created and preserved if land owners could get some assurance of added profits from multiple land usage programs such as the production of crawfish in waterfowl impoundments. This potential exists in Louisiana and bordering states where crawfish are a commercially important human food item.

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