Note: This item is more than five years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references.
New Braunfels Student Wins $10,000 Scholarship; Removes Harmful Fish from Guadalupe River
ATHENS—New Braunfels High School sophomore Andrew Cumberland was fishing for sunfish in the Guadalupe River July 12 when he spotted a really ugly fish in shallow water. Thinking it was a carp, he switched to dough bait, which the fish took immediately.
“I was surprised when I pulled it into the kayak,” Cumberland said. “I had never seen a fish that looked like it—it seemed to be prehistoric.”
With the help of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) fisheries biologists at the A.E. Wood State Fish Hatchery in San Marcos, Cumberland determined that he had landed a suckermouth catfish. The 21-inch fish weighed 3.45 pounds.
Cumberland did not return the fish to the water, the correct action under the circumstances. “These fish are the most destructive exotic fish in Texas,” said Dr. Gary Garrett, a fisheries scientist and TPWD’s Director of Watershed Conservation. “They take over important habitats such as springs, push out and replace native species (including listed species and species of conservation concern), decimate native vegetation and undermine and destabilize banks. In no way do they have any redeeming qualities.”
TPWD recommends that anyone catching a suckermouth catfish follow Cumberland’s example and not return it to the water alive.
Invasive and exotic species are a serious and growing threat in Texas. For information on how you can help protect the state from these invaders, visit www.texasinvasives.org.
Cumberland’s catch became the new state rod-and-reel record for the species and garnered him two $5,000 scholarships from the Federation of Student Anglers (FSA), an international student angling organization based in Bulverde, Texas. FSA awards a $5,000 scholarship to any student member who catches a Texas state record of any species. The second scholarship was awarded for catching the Texas record while fishing in an officially sanctioned FSA event, FSA’s Tuesday Night Fishing Series Tournament.
Cumberland is the son of Dale and Gina Cumberland of New Braunfels.
The Federation of Student Anglers has more than 2,000 members from elementary through college level in school-based chapters nationwide. For information on how to start a chapter in your area, visit www.fishingstudents.com.
Publication — Permission is granted to publish, in whole or in part, any news releases on this page.
Print — A print-friendly version of the news release shows only the release with font sizes set to the browser default.
Plain Text — Plain text versions of TPWD news releases are provided for copying and pasting into editing software.
To copy text into an editing software:
- Click a Plain Text link to display the plain text page in your browser.
- Select all.
- Paste in a document in your editing program.
Permalink — This is a direct link to the news release, omitting the navigation context from the URI.
English/Spanish — News releases posted in both English and Spanish have one of these links.
If you have any suggestions for improving these pages, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and mention Plain Text Pages.