Disrespect For Nature

Friday April 25, 2014 my daughter and I went fishing on the Angelina River here in Jasper Texas.  We left the house around 7:30am, went to the  Exxon gas station at the intersection of HWY 96 and HWY 190 for a bag of ice, went to the donut shop on HWY 190 then headed to Bevil Port.

For breakfast my daughter got a large kolache while I got a ham, egg and cheese croissant.  While at the donut shop I asked my daughter if she wanted a chocolate milk to drink.  She promptly replied she was not three years old anymore.  I smiled, gave her a hug, and told her something like “nope, you are not three years old anymore.”  Kids grow up so fast it seems time flies by.

The launch at Bevil Port was typical.  Pull the boat around, unstrap, make sure the plug is in, load tackle box, life jackets, 5 gallon bucket of noodles, then pull around and back the boat down.  The starter switch on the motor is going out, so I had to use the pull rope to crank the motor.

After a couple of pulls that Evinrude 30 fired up and off we went.

Trash on the river

While heading south on Angelina River (we were going to Bee Tree Slough) I noticed several plastic bottles floating on top of the water.  These were everything from water bottles to cola bottles.

How am I supposed to teach my kids not to litter when there is trash floating in the river?  I can hear it now, “everyone else litters, so why can’t we litter?”

I have to ask myself what kind of person throws trash in a river.  For that matter, what kind of idiot throws trash anywhere besides a trash can.  What kind of example are we setting for our kids when there is trash everywhere?

My daughter and I arrive in Bee Tree Slough, kill the Evinrude and start using the trolling motor.  As we are working our way through the slough we see limb lines that had been there for years.  What kind of example are people who abandon limb lines and trotlines setting for the younger generation?  Set the line, check it a couple of times and then just leave it out there for someone else to worry about.

Bee Tree Slough Jasper Texas
Entrance to Bee Tree Slough near Jasper Texas

We did some fishing with rod and reel and threw out some noodles.  Kristian did not catch anything.  I caught a smallmouth bass that was about 14 inches long on an artificial worm.  The bass was thrown back as we practice catch and release.

Killing wildlife for fun

As my daughter and I were launching the boat we noticed someone threw out some fish on the road right at the boat launch. We could not help but notice because the fish stunk so bad I almost threw up.

The fish are what a lot of people consider trash fish – drum, longnose gar (aka needlenose gar) and alligator gar.

Since those species are not considered sport fish somehow we justify killing them and letting their bodies go to waste? How can we justify killing something “just because?” Everything has a place in the ecosystem. That “everything” also includes drum, longnose gar and alligator gar.

How am I supposed to teach my daughter to catch and safely release the fish, when other people dump fish right next to the boat ramp? It seems like I am fighting an uphill battle trying to teach my kids wildlife conservation. Everyone else waste natural resources, so why can’t we do it? Why can’t we waste wildlife? Because we care about the environment.

Killing gar for fun is slowly depleting the species. Numbers are getting so low southern states like Texas are placing restrictions on how many gar can by taken.

We as a society have to do something to protect our wildlife. We can not allow people to kill wildlife “just for the fun of it.” If you are not going to eat it, do not kill it, it is that simple.

Such blatant disrespect for nature is sickening.