Texas Parks Warns to ‘Never Dump Your Tank!’ and For Good Reason
It's hard to believe that this prehistoric looking creature could be swimming in your favorite lake right now. And that's what Texas Parks and Wildlife wants to avoid.
What might have once been a "cute little fish" that was the perfect addition to someone's aquarium, has now become a "whale" of a problem in Texas.
What's This Ugly Sucker Called"
Officially known as the plecostomus, most of them are called "suckermouths”, “algae eaters” or “armored catfish”, and they are very common to fish loving aquarium owners as they actually aid in keeping the tank clean.
However, researchers from Texas A&M and Texas State universities recently removed a total of 406 of these ugly suckers from the San Marcos River and it's a cause for concern according to Texas Parks and Wildlife.
What Kind of Damage Do They Do?
According to TP&W, these aquarium fish have been released into the wild and have grown out of control. Texas Parks reports that "They are voracious consumers of aquatic plants and wood, and contribute significantly to erosion in areas of infestation. They also create deep burrows under banks, which cause undercutting and bank collapse."
This invasive species is exactly why Texas Parks warns to "Never Dump Your Tank" citing, "When they’re dumped into the wild they can introduce disease or become serious predators, killing off local fish colonies, and damaging reefs and vegetation that keep our underwater ecosystem alive and healthy."
Why Would These Be a Threat to Louisiana?
Considering the root of the cause for this invasive species to be introduced into Texas waters being the release from residents via their aquariums, it's not a quantum leap to assume people in the Bayou State are capable of the same irresponsible behavior.
We've already experienced such an outbreak of the aquarium released invasive Rio Grande Cichlids which, according to louisianasportsman.com, actually took over City Park in New Orleans and necessitated a "Kill Order" being issued by LDWF requiring the killing of any of the species that were caught.
Of course, many of us have been glued to the television as Troy Landry and our neighbors from the south on the show "Swamp People" have been called to Florida to aid in the removal of other invasive species like pythons and anacondas.
While most would understand that some people just don't have the heart to end a creature's life, adding that non-native creature into the wild, is certainly not a worthy alternative. Rest assured, there's someone that can do the dirty work for you.
Heck, we're in Louisiana. That person might even have a good recipe for cooking that thing.