Manatees are on the move-at least along the Intracoastal Waterway corridor in Louisiana.
A recent verified sighting near Lake Calcasieu near the Texas-Louisiana border shows that this winter all of these amazing creature are not near the warm springs in Florida. Some of them are far from their home base.
This happens more frequently than we realize.
My Dad, Chester Moore, Sr. a friend were fishing the Intracoastal Canal near the Louisiana border back in the late 1960s. The fishing was slow and the two were getting bored—until, that is, something strange and very large materialized next to them.
“This big animal came up that was nearly as long as our 12 foot aluminum boat,” Dad told me. “It came up right beside us and just sat there. It was so big and ugly we got scared, pulled anchor, and left.”
After reporting the sighting to a game warden, they became a little embarrassed. Turned out the strange creature was a gentle manatee the warden had under observation. Manatees rarely appear in Texas.
“He told us the manatee had been seen around that area and they were keeping an eye out for it to make sure poachers didn’t’ get it,” Dad said. “We didn’t know what a manatee was, but once he explained to us what they are, we turned a little red. They’re not exactly vicious, dangerous creatures.”
A correct assessment, for sure. My wife, Lisa, and I have snorkeled with them in Florida’s Crystal River back in 1999, 2005 and 2014 and found them gentle, playful creatures.
Chester Moore, Jr.