At Jazz Louisiana Kitchen in Sparks, Nevada, owner Vic Allread is frying up crayfish. He says the ones from Tahoe are the biggest he’s ever seen. “There is a ‘wow!’ factor there, I mean there is a ‘wow!’ factor.”
Tahoe crayfish aren’t exposed to pesticides as are crayfish from other places. And, they are fresh, says Allread. “Out of the lake, on to the boat, drove to our back dock and bam, we are here!”
He knows serving up the invasive species helps protect the lake’s clarity too. But there are problems. The harvest is a mixed bag that includes tiny crawfish and that is not a problem that comes with imported crayfish.
“I do believe that the production guys need to tour the production areas in New Orleans or China and see what they need to do because I think they are missing the boat on the tail meat production because that is really where the production comes from.”
China has driven prices down to a dollar a pound while Tahoe crawfish go for $4 to $6. Jazz Louisiana Kitchen has gone back to buying crayfish from Louisiana. The Tahoe Lobster Company estimates 50 percent of restaurants have dropped it’s product since last year.