Saturday, December 13, 2014

Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center

While on our way to Tyler, Texas we passed a sign for the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens. This is Texas's state of the art warm water fish hatchery and we headed over to visit it today.

Before we even got inside we encountered the first pond exhibit. They have over 300,000 gallons of aquariums and pond exhibits in the Visitor Center. 

We headed to the auditorium to watch a short movie and view the Dive Show.  The movie gives a bit of background on the hatchery operations and the Dive Show features a diver in a huge aquarium feeding a bunch of different fish.

The diver had a mask that allowed him to speak to the crowd. He first released krill which are small crustaceans that many of the fish seemed to love. 
Love that Krill!!
He then got out some squid and concentrated on feeding the large Longnose Gar in the aquarium. He mentioned that he had to be a little careful as the gar can't tell his fingers from the squid. Ouch! There were also some large Blue Catfish in the tank, and they enjoyed the squid as well.
Feeding Squid to the Longnose Gar
Back in the Visitor Center we took in all of the other exhibits of fish, habitats, and old fishing gear. They had a huge female Largemouth Bass in an aquarium, and she seemed to want to say hello to Teri.
Well Hello...
The last tank contained an Alligator Snapping Turtle which was sitting in his "let me eat you" feeding position. No fingers in this tank, please!
Alligator Snapping Turtle
If you are ever up around Athens, Texas stop by the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center for a visit.


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