Redfish Eating Rats

Redfish Eating Rats, Helping Gulf Coast Conservationists

The redfish, found in abundance along the Mississippi and Louisiana coasts, is much like the catfish and will eat almost anything—dead or alive. Apparently this year, the redfish have discovered how delicious young nutria, furry creatures about one-foot long with 1-1/2-foot-long tails, are.

“As long as I have been fishing the Biloxi marsh and the waters in Louisiana and Mississippi, I’ve never seen nutria in fishes’ bellies until this fall and winter,” Darien Ladner, a guide who fishes out of Biloxi, Mississippi, and also fishes the Louisiana marshes, said.

To cross-reference this phenomenon, I contacted Captain Sonny Schindler of Shore Thing Charters in Biloxi, Mississippi. “Quite a few of our guides have noticed this same phenomenon,” Schindler explained. “Apparently, when the bull reds move inshore, they start feeding on the nutria, which burrow close to fresh and saltwater.

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