What’s Halloween without monsters? But not all monsters live under our beds or are the stars of horror movies. Some are real-life monsters found in America’s waterways. Though they’ll never be stars of slasher films or trick-or-treater costumes, monster fish can be terrifying but in some cases, they need saving too.
There are monster-sized fish that can weigh hundreds of pounds. Some are shocking in appearance with beady eyes and mouths lined with sharp teeth. And then, there are the invasive monsters, steadily overtaking our lakes and rivers like alien monsters from outer space. Scary, yes! But each of these species are also a part of the aquatic-conservation mission of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
FAC is partnering with The Fisheries Blog to share some great stories on fish, we hope you enjoy them. These blogs do not reflect any official government view or policy.
October 2018, Craig Springer, USFWS
“Longing is the heart’s treasury.” —St. Augustine
From nearly anywhere in my Santa Fe County home, I have the most fortunate view of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. It’s where the Rockies start in New Mexico. As I write this, day bleeds into night, that period when the Muses visit painters and poets.
A towering anvil-headed September storm cloud turns the color of a watermelon over Santa Fe Baldy and Hamilton Mesa. The trailing curved edge of the cloud as it brushes over the mountain tops looks like a sheer lavender curtain moved by wind through an open window.
The moisture wrung out of this moving piece of art strikes the steep dusky mountain slopes, softened by green and blue needles of pines and firs and spruces. The water funnels through gray granite crevices as it trickles downhill. The rain soaks into rivulets and then into ritos with names such as Azul, Padre, Valdez and Chimayosos. These noisy cobbled brooks will soon beget the Pecos proper, but before they do their waters stall in dark pools under the cooling shade of gangly alder trees whose roots knot up the streambank. This is habitat for Rio Grande cutthroat trout.
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