A huge alligator garpique caught (then released) in Texas

A few days ago, YouTuber and environmentalist Payton Moore took a trip to Buffalo Bayou in Texas. And the fishing was good. The latter has indeed captured a huge alligator garpique 2.5 m long for more than 130 kilos on the scale. This is not a record, but these measurements remain exceptional.

The alligator garpique (Atractosteus spatula) is a species of fish in the Lepisosteidae family. It is one of the ten largest known freshwater fish. You’ll find it in the lower Mississippi Valley and along the Gulf Coasts of the southern United States and Mexico. This predator feeds on smaller fish, blue crabs, seabirds and sometimes turtles.

Although an adult may look intimidating, it poses no threat to humans. Let us recall, however, that their eggs are poisonouslike those of the other fishes of this family.

A giant out of the water

A few days ago, conservationist Payton Moore, a resident of Sugar Land, Texas, managed to catch and release one of these giant alligator in a bayou (secondary branch of a river) located near Houston . After struggling with the fish (see video below), the ecologist then brought it back to shore to measure and weigh it. The animal lay on 2.5m long for a weight of about 136 kilos. The fish was eventually released.

Officially the biggest alligator garpique ever caught around weighed 137 kilos, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife. He was reportedly caught in 1953 using a trotting line (a heavy fishing line with individual lines attached lengthwise at regular intervals).

Historically, these fish and other freshwater giants have been targeted by culling efforts by various state and federal agencies in an effort to make more room for game fish. During recent years, conservation efforts nevertheless allowed to give them a little respite. Although the capture of these fish is not prohibited, the ecologist recommends that interested anglers to put them back in the water as much as possible.

An interesting point about this fish is that it can breathe some atmospheric air, at least for a while. This is why the ecologist took the liberty of taking it out of the water for several minutes in order to take his measurements. However, he advises to keep them cool and moist.

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