Creature Feature

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Hambones are a treat

Biologists need to be humbled sometimes.

When I was working at LSU in the 1980s, I spent a lot of time on commercial snapper boats documenting catches of reef fish and looking for new species that could be of interest to seafood consumers.

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May 04 at 9:00 am
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Looking for the big sting

Stingrays are some of the very few truly venomous animals in Louisiana waters. I say “some” rather than “one” because four species of rays with spines on top of their tails occur off of and in Louisiana. 

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April 01 at 7:00 am
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If you knew the gou as I do

The freshwater drum, Aplodinotus grunniens, has to be the most disrespected large freshwater fish in Louisiana and probably the whole United States.

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March 01 at 7:00 am
10143 Views

This guy has teeth

The great barracuda, Sphyraena barracuda, is a common fish in the blue waters offshore of Louisiana. Yet one never sees a fishing story about anyone fishing for them off of our coast. 

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February 04 at 9:00 am
6299 Views

Louisiana sawfish are just memories

It’s not likely that many Louisiana coastal anglers give sawfish a thought. In fact, it’s not likely that anyone under the age of 50 even knows we ever had a sawfish population in the state.

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January 04 at 9:00 am
10366 Views

Do released bass live to fight again?

Whether one loves it or hates it, a certain amount of catch-and-release fishing is here to stay. While fishermen have released some fish for a long time, the practice became high profile with the commercialization of black bass fishing through the founding of the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society by Ray Scott in 1967.

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December 01, 2014 at 7:00 am
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What is a black snapper?

What’s a black snapper? 

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November 04, 2014 at 9:00 am
4993 Views

Bluefish eat everything

Bluefish are truly the cannibals of the sea. They eat anything and seem to take special delight in eating each other. It makes you wonder why they are still around — how they get close enough to spawn with each other before biting their paramour in half. 

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October 01, 2014 at 7:00 am
6634 Views

An apple a day — yuk!

In 1988, The Blob invaded Louisiana. The star of the remake of the 1958 film of the same name was a big, slimy, snotty alien thing.

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September 04, 2014 at 9:00 am
5981 Views

Watch out, sucker!

Every fish makes its own living in its own way. Some are hard-swimming, driving predators. Others are kind of laid back and take advantage of their fellow fish in the sea.

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August 04, 2014 at 9:00 am
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Interesting blue crab trivia

Blue crabs are one of the most-beautiful and interesting creatures in Louisiana’s coastal marshes. They are pugnacious — actually downright aggressive may be a better characterization — but within those armored bodies lies some of the most delectable of all seafoods.

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July 04, 2014 at 9:00 am
14285 Views

Redear sunfish

Yes, I know that a redear sunfish isn’t really a perch, but that along with “bream” is the generic name for the clan of freshwater panfish that includes bluegills, goggle-eyes, slick perch (green sunfish), sunperch and stumpknockers.

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June 04, 2014 at 9:00 am
12763 Views

Are goliath grouper fish or footballs

Last month, we discussed the biology of the goliath grouper, a fish still often called by its old name of jewfish. The fish is intriguing, if for no other reason than for its size.

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May 01, 2014 at 3:00 pm
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Are goliath groupers fish or footballs?

The glamour boy of the grouper family, the 800-pound Atlantic goliath grouper, is becoming the Gulf of Mexico’s latest fisheries management football, to be passed and punted back and forth between recreational fishermen, commercial fishermen, environmentalists and fisheries biologists.

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April 04, 2014 at 9:00 am
9028 Views

When a mullet is king

Biologists like writing about cool fish — odd fish, fish that are a swimming riddle. This month’s guy (or more properly “guys”) is that.

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March 03, 2014 at 9:00 am
8660 Views

Hey, ray, what you say?

At least that is what some shrimpers say they hear. The animal that they have nicknamed “choo-choo” for the whoofing sound that it makes after it hits the deck of a shrimp boat is known by scientists as a cownose ray, Rhinoptera bonasus. 

The scientific name is entirely derived from Greek. The genus name comes from rhinos, which means “nose” and pteron, which means “wing.” The species name comes from bonasos, which means “bison.”

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February 01, 2014 at 7:00 am
7197 Views
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