Disclaimer: I had three cups of coffee before writing this blog post. You have been warned.
Have you seen a more scary-looking fish? This ain't no sushi.
Our entire family has had a spring-crud virus, but the weather has been so beautiful that I refused to skip my daily walks.
Recently we had some flooding rains which wash and trap fish into the drainage area where I walk (I call it the Greenbelt because that sounds nicer than "flood control drainage area"). I decided to go down and examine the concrete "stream" to see if there was anything interesting trapped in the quickly evaporating/draining water.
I fancy myself a fish-rescuer.
This time I hit the goldmine; two alligator gars!!! These are carnivorous fish that have a body like any innocent fish you could see on a plate with some lemon garnish or wrapped around sushi-rice, but with a head full of wicked teeth like a gator.
I almost died of excitement (I love nature) and literally ran home (I am not a runner and I think I literally almost died of a heart attack).
I just used "literally" twice in one sentence and I feel really good about it.
Imp was in bed sick but Duke was sitting in the house watching his dad do yard work and literally jumped at the chance to join me to catch and release two sweet little adorable fish who were going to literally die if we didn't save them that evening from the quickly drying cement stream.
Did you notice I was able to cleverly add a few more "literally"s? That sentence was also a bit of a "word salad" (another trendy term).
We grabbed our fishing net and jumped on our bikes to go "Save the Gars"!
Duke caught the big one right away. It was over two feet long and deceptive heavy.
And what a mouth on him. Let me zoom in a little bit.
It is a good thing I didn't google "alligator gars" before I stuck my hand in there right next to his jaws of death to take this photo.
What a toothy grin.
Duke flipped the net to release our little new friend in the creek. Unfortunately our little friend snapped his jaws of death onto our net and didn't want to let go.
We had to literally shake the net until he fell off.
Did you notice I was able to once again insert a culturally popular word of the hip millennium youngsters? Sure, it doesn't really work in that sentence, but it is such a great word who really cares.
We went back and rescued the second alligator gar and released her in the same location and it went quite smoothly other than the gallon of disgusting silt and mud she flipped all over our legs.
Mud that I am convinced contained oodles of flesh-eating bacteria. And brain parasites.
Texas is a land of danger, according to the internet.
We went back to see if we could rescue any other fish and found this little catfish in the same location we found the gars.
Notice anything special about this fish?
Like a huge giant bite out of her back?!
Yes, our sweet little alligator gar friends were snacking on a live catfish when we caught them.
Thankfully we were able to get to this little girl before it was too late and Duke went to go release her in the creek.
By the way, I have no idea if this catfish is a girl or a boy, but she was cute and I decided to call her Melba.
What is it about rescued fish getting caught on our net? After a few shakes Melba was free, the two alligator gars had their snack back in the water with them (something Duke pointed out to me with great concern after we released her), and we went back to continue our brave rescue effort.
This is the fourth and final fish we saved, a tiny baby catfish. And of course it got stuck on our net. And probably got eaten by the alligator gars shortly after I took this photo.
After we finished dredging the concrete stream's muddy bacterial-laden shallows for fish, we proudly rode home feeling like we had really achieved something great.
After a shower to remove all of the dangerous muddy bacteria/parasites covering our bodies, we googled "alligator gar".
I had no idea they can literally get up to 10 feet long! And that they might attack if scared! And that their favorite meat is human meat! OK, I just made that last part up.
Thanks Google, you just scared the heck out of me once again to ever go swimming in anything but a swimming pool. Not only do I have to worry about my limbs literally rotting off thanks to flesh-eating bacteria or literally dying from a brain parasite getting up my nose when I swim, I have to worry about giant 10 foot long deadly fish with razor-sharp teeth and an appetite for human flesh (it could be true, right?) attacking me.
Pssst, did you notice I was able to get a few more "literally"s in there? Pretty clever, right? I just wonder why no one ever nominates me for a writing award. Strange.
Anyhoo, even slimy snaggly-toothed man-eating alligator gars need love.
Just remind me not to go swimming or wading in that creek EVER.
Have a wonderful Easter!!!
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