Thursday, January 10, 2008

An Empty River

Every January the city drains the downtown Riverwalk part of the San Antonio River for maintenance of the channel and to collect all of the folding chairs, silverware, plates, glassware, cellphones, keys and sunglasses lost (or thrown in) by tourists and restaurant patrons.
The Fiesta Mud King and Queen are also chosen at this time.

Fish and turtles etc are collected and relocated downstream while the aquatic birds have a feast on whatever remains in the isolated pools left behind.

The city crews were relocating introduced tilapia until the State of Texas reminded them of the rules that say this destructive non-native fish is to be gutted (or eaten), not released back into the river. And the city was also told that they have not been in compliance with the required wildlife handling permits, which cost $20.

The reflection of a downtown building caught my eye as I was trying to get a good angle on this egret fishing in the shallow pools.
Normally shore birds like this are never seen in the Riverwalk area but adapt nicely when there's a free lunch to be had.

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