Florida has become something of a “clearing house” for exotic species, both of the gamefish variety and the full-on invasive critters ranging from pythons and lion fish to iguanas and other foreign animals that are noxious to the ecology of the Everglades.
Nowhere else in America can fly fishers chase peacock bass and Mayan cichlids, both imports from Central and South America. And now, as you’ll see in the video below, fly fishers can chase—for a price— barramundi, a species native to Australia.
I’m not sure the introduction of barramundi, even in the somewhat controlled environment depicted above, is a terribly brilliant idea. These fish are serious predators—one look at their flat heads and big eyes will tell you that they are real hunters. Perhaps there’s not much more damage that can be done to Florida’s waterways, and the demand for variety has been deemed more important than protecting the state’s native fisheries, but I’m not convinced that adding such a predator to Florida’s piscene landscape is a good thing.
Nevertheless, if you’ve always wanted to catch a barramundi but didn’t want to fly halfway around the world to do it, now you don’t have to.
What do you think?
— Chris Hunt