Tuesday, March 03, 2009

This Simón Sauceda: yet another survivor of the Donna High Class of 1966?

Mr. Anton Caputo's "Dangerous catch in the Valley "

Adapted from his front page feature in the San Antonio EXPRESS - NEWS, Monday, March 2, 2009.

"DONNA - Anglers looking for an easy catch have ignored 15 years of health warning and continue to stock up on PCB - contaminated fish from the [Donna] canal that irrigates the fields of this Rio Grande Valley farming community.

"[S]aid Nolda Garza, who lives within eye shot of the Donna Canal and the Donna Reservoir, There's a lot of people that fish there. Every Saturday you can see them casting their nets and fishing.

"Rumors run rampant that fish from the canal, which are illegal to possess, are peddled to local restaurants and markets, Mayor David Simmons said.

"Now the federal government is trying to put an end to the practice, at least temporarily, and buy investigators with the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] enough time to pinpoint, and eventually eliminate, the source of the contamination that has poisoned the sediment and fish in the canal and reservoir.

"Crews have been plying the 8 - mile canal the past two weeks, pulling out everything they can get their hands on in an effort to make the waterway unfishable.

"They finished the job Friday, after hauling 15,182 fish from the murky waters of the [Donna] canal in an effort to stop illegal fishing there and find what's contaminating them.

"These included 25 species, from sizable types such as small mouth bass and buffalo, largemouth bass and channel catfish to tiny thread - fin shad and Rio Grande cichlid.*

"[S]aid Simón Sauceda, I'll be honest, I fished there with my father when I was a kid, and we ate that fish. We'd like to know how far back this went..."

Way to go, Don Simón! :)

What I'm surprised not to see listed is something with an unpronounceable name that back in 1959 -- at least! -- sounded like ciprinidon varigatus. Those little suckers could and did live in anythng with H2O in it.


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