Dead fish stuck in fence after Ike

September 17, 2008 7:38:04 PM PDT
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The storm surge from Hurricane Ike through East Texas left behind a grotesque display of fish caught in an unusual manner.

Dozens of fish ended up dead, stuck headfirst from a chain-link fence in West Orange.

The fish, 8-10 inches long, appeared too large to get through the fence around a flooded home.

Some of the dead fish were suspended in the apparent act of swimming and were still hanging Monday from the 4-foot-high fence.

Ike slammed the Gulf coast along Galveston early Saturday.

Dead fish continued to litter residential streets and grassy areas of West Orange, a town of 3,800 located 110 miles northeast of Houston.

Sarah Blohm of Orange, who was at a hurricane aid distribution point Monday, said there is a lot of debris and "there are fish everywhere."

Texas National Guard Sgt. Albert Ramirez, based in Dallas, looked at the fish stuck in the fence and described it to The Associated Press as "kind of different."

Orange Mayor Brown Claybar, 57, says he's lived in the community his whole life and has never seen anything like all the dead fish scattered in the area.

"I've always told folks we have good fishing around here," said Claybar, with a chuckle.

He noted that the area is on the rebound from 2005's Hurricane Rita.

"Who would have thought in three years -- we would have two 100-year storms," the mayor said. "We've never had a storm surge like this."

A couple of miles from the fence, at an intersection in an industrial area near Adams Bayou, the road was covered with thousands of dead fish.

Some of the decaying creatures were large, including 3-foot-long redfish.

Jarvis Buckley, who rode out Ike in his house, lives down the road from where the fish uncharacteristically coated the intersection.

Buckley says he had to remove an eel and an alligator from his yard. He has lived in the Orange area since 1959 and has never seen anything like it.

"I've lived here and I love to live here. I've got friends here, but I'm seriously considering relocating," Buckley told AP, as he and a friend used a golf cart to check out the fish in the road.

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