If a crawfish you personally raised escapes from your pond and decides to set up shop in your neighbor’s ditch and is consequently consumed by said neighbor with a side of corn-and-potato, is the mudbug still yours?

Granted, it ain’t exactly a question for the ages, but a Lake Charles lawmaker believes the state should look further into the matter. Rep. Brett F. Geymann, a Republican crustacean crusader, has filed House Resolution 7 to be debated during the ongoing regular session. It requests that the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries study the issue of “escaped farm-raised crawfish.”

Why this wasn’t an issue during last year’s gubernatorial campaign is anyone’s guess.

According to the legislation, rainfall and increased surface waters sometimes accumulate and force the water in crawfish ponds to overtop their levees or borders. When this happens, the “crawfish can escape their impoundments into neighboring ditches and other waterways, in much the same manner as livestock at-large,” the legislation states. “Many times, these escaped crawfish are harvested from those neighboring ditches and waterways by people other than the people who had been cultivating the crawfish for commercial purposes in private ponds, thereby depriving the farmer of his livestock and the commercial gain from that livestock.”

Geymann wants the department to report back to the Legislature on the extent of the problem and to recommend any necessary laws to address the matter. Stay tuned, and check your ditches.

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