LAKE JACKSON, Texas Sea Center Texas is seeking help in naming two of its popular fish, a Queensland grouper and a green moray eel. Visitors and fish lovers are asked to submit name suggestions through March 25, 2009, by visiting the Sea Center Texas visitor center at 300 Medical Drive or on-line via the TPWD Web site. The facility staff and volunteers will review the names submitted and select the top five name suggestions for each of the fish. Afterwards, the top five names will be placed on a ballot. Voting will take place in April. The winning names will be announced during a special event in May.
The first fish to be named was transferred to its new home in the summer of 2008. It is a Queensland grouper that weighs about 50 pounds. Like its predecessor, “Gordon,” the grouper is native to Australia and has lived most of its life in an aquarium environment. The fish was donated to Sea Center in 1998 because the previous owners no longer had space for the fish. Its age is unknown but its at least 13 years old. Biologist at the facility are not sure of the groupers gender or how much larger it will grow. Some doubt it will ever reach the size of Gordon, who died in the summer of 2008 at 23 years old and more than 320 pounds.
The second fish to be named is a green moray eel that has been on exhibit since 1998. It was donated to Sea Center Texas by George Flores of Houston who caught the eel and brought it to the facility to be certified as a state record. After the certification, it was placed on exhibit. Since then, it has grown from its original size of 48 inches and 7.7 pounds. The morays current weight is unknown but is estimated to be over 6 feet long.
The eel and grouper share Sea Centers 50,000 gallon Gulf aquarium with several other fish including crevalle jack, redfish, Atlantic spadefish, gray snapper and red snapper. At 10:30 a.m. each Wednesday and Friday, visitors can view the feeding of the aquarium fish and have a good opportunity to view the reclusive green moray.
In addition to the Gulf exhibit, the visitor center has several other aquariums that each houses its own unique underwater marvels. Visitors will especially enjoy frisky diamondback turtles that swim up to greet you, slow moving and lackadaisical snook and inquisitive porcupine puffers.
In addition, the site offers guided hatchery tours, self-guided tours of the wetland exhibit and a variety of special events and fishing programs. For more information call (979) 292-1000 or visit Sea Centers website at www.tpwd.state.tx.us/seacenter.