|Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Copyright 2012 - Polk County Publishing Company
River monsters won’t effect ecosystem
BY VALERIE REDDELL
LIVINGSTON — The recent arrival of 41 huge blue catfi sh weighing 40 to 90 pounds won’t impact the fi sh populations in Lake Livingston or downstream in the Trinity River, according to local wildlife biologist Chris Gregory. Gregory didn’t participate in the relocation of several large blue catfi sh from Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Jasper fi sh hatchery back to their native waters along the Trinity River. But, he said the release of the trophy-size fi sh won’t impact the overall ecosystem. “It’s incredible how many fi sh are found even in a small area of the lake,” Gregory said. Gregory recalled a time over fi ve years ago when the Trinity River Authority was pouring concrete just below the dam to correct erosion just below the gates. An area about 30 feet wideand 150 to 200 feet long was closed off and fi sheries staff moved in to relocate fi sh that were caught in the dammed up area. “About 30 or 40 guys went in with dip nets and I went down down to see what I could do. When the water was chest deep, there were so many fish hitting you all over, it was like that Off commercial where the guy sticks his hand in the box of mosquitoes ... The dip net would be so heavy, you had to dump out some of the fish so you could life it and get it to the trackhoe,” Gregory said. The trackhoe carried tanks that would transport the fish downstream and release. Fisheries staffers also checked the catch for white bass they may be carrying eggs. While the new monstersize fish may tempt anglers to try to snag a trophy, Gregory said the new arrivals won’t affect your catch. “If it could affect the fish population, they would be released. We can’t just run out there and turn fish loose and not know what’s going to happen. In Sunday’s edition of the Houston Chronicle, outdoor writer Shannon Tompkins documents the relocation effort and the role catfish play in attracting anglers. Lake Livingston is a major destination for the 12 million or so Texas fisherman chasing catfish and largemouth bass.