Playback Rate 1

Timecode: 00:00:00


Gary Garrett [00:00:01] We call the Guadalupe bass our indicator species. We've got indicator species all over the place, but that's the iconic one.

Gary Garrett [00:00:08] But when the Guardalupe bass is doing well, for the right reasons, everything else is doing well, also.

Gary Garrett [00:00:17] It's that, and then, of course, once, when we got it named the state fish of Texas, that helped a lot too. Texan pride kicks in at that point.

Gary Garrett [00:00:26] But, it was, it was named the state fish for a reason. It represents something really special about Texas - the beautiful Hill Country, the clean, flowing streams and the endemic species, sport fish, that's there. In fact, some of that wording is in the enabling legislation that named it the state fish.

Gary Garrett [00:00:50] There was a, I believe it was a third grade class in Decatur, Texas. Their teacher called me and said they were doing a little program on, for state things, and they realized there's no state fish...

Gary Garrett [00:01:03] So, I worked with those kids. We got T-shirts made. We got buttons made.

Gary Garrett [00:01:08] We went before the Texas Legislature, the Natural Resources Subcommittee, I believe it was. And gave testimony. To have those little kids walk up there, you know, with their prepared little speeches was just so cute.

Gary Garrett [00:01:22] Then I got up as the expert witness. And, and this is no lie. I couldn't believe it.

Gary Garrett [00:01:27] So, I gave the whole spiel about why it was special and why it would make sense for it to be the state fish. And one of those legislators held his hand up and said, "That's all well and good, but the Florida bass is a much more popular sport fish. So, don't you think that really should be our state fish?"

Gary Garrett [00:01:46] The other legislators turned and looked, and said, "The Florida bass as our state fish? That doesn't make any sense, dude."

Gary Garrett [00:01:54] So, they laughed that one out and and moved forward with it.

Gary Garrett [00:01:57] And we got it named the state fish, which was great. It kind of, you know, put a spotlight on it.

Gary Garrett [00:02:05] At that time, there were rumblings, some talk, within the Fish and Wildlife Service. You know, "Your research on Guadalupe bass has shown us that this probably should be listed as a threatened species. It fits all the criteria of a threatened or even maybe an endangered species. So, maybe we should list it."

Gary Garrett [00:02:21] And I said, "You know, you're going to, you're going to walk into a buzz-saw in Texas trying to do that. But if we get it named the state fish, that's probably, for Texas, that's probably going to get it more protection than the Endangered Species Act."

Gary Garrett [00:02:37] And, I say, "Because it's going to be protected. It's just going to be."

Gary Garrett [00:02:42] And so anyway, we, we avoided that issue as well, by getting it named the state fish.