Contributing Monkie G Living Staff Monkies
Published on February 14, 2008
More not-so-great news on nature front, courtesy of the man. The state fish of Texas, the Guadalupe bass, is on its way to extinction if it’s not already there. Why? Because of human meddling with the ecosystem that once supported the bass – in the name of creating greater sport.
Here’s what happened. In the late ‘60s-early ‘70s, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department started restocking the Guadalupe and other rivers of west-central Texas with Guadalupe bass — a popular target for fly fishers and known as “Texas trout” for its fighting abilities.
Unfortunately for the Guadalupe, small-mouth bass is equally popular, so Texas PWD added the small-mouth at the same time. A poor understanding of mating abilities led PWD to believe that if the two fish species mated, their offspring would be sterile.
Wrong! The fish mated, creating a totally new hybrid species. Attempts to determine the percent of pure Guadalupe in the 1990s showed that little if any still existed; all the fish caught were either pure small-mouths or hybrid Gaudalupes. While this doesn’t definitively mean that the Guadalupe is gone, it’s certainly not promising.
So much for Texas’ state fish.
The greater issue, of course, is the destruction that results when man meddles with Mother Nature. In this case – as in most cases with fish contamination – the goal was to create a better environment for “sport”, resulting in reducing, even eliminating, native fish populations.
If we can just figure out how to breed certain other Texas families out of existence.