by Hector Silva
I clearly remember those old river fisher men reciting the names of fishes which could be found in the Belize Old River.
So we would go to the crystal clear river edge and opened our eyes to identify the species.- Many time we would throw our lines to see what we could catch. - But to me it was not fun. I was too impatient to stand there and wait for a fish to glide bye ad catch the hook.
BUT today, when I realize the beauty of Nature, and the great gift from God, I wish I would go back to be close to my dear Old River, just a few yards from my home.
Last night I went into my notes to review what those Old Fishermen told us.- The following are some of the names of fishes, which I can remember.
Perhaps other Belizeans would assist us in adding what I cannot at this moment remember.
Fishes,- Baca ( Fresh water Cat fish ) - Fresh Water Snook, - Tuba, Dormilon, - Red Gill. - Jurel, - Butter C. - Robalo, - Sheep Head, - River Bass, -Blanco, - Chiwa, -Shi Shi, - Long Jack, - :Lu - Sardines and sometime BIG RIVER TARPON. Base-snook, craanah, muss-muss, tuba, buttersi, baca, mudfish/ dormelong, catto, bilam, long- guard. I remember some local names like, bocona, pintas, shishi, pupsi, and lu.
Other River Creatures,- Hiccatee, - black Turtle, River Shrimp, River Cray Fish, Iguana. - And paddling down the river, especially early in the morning or late evening. one would see Deer, Gibnut, Antelope Armadillo, Piccary, Wild Pigs, Mountain Cows ( Tapir ) and Tigers , drinking water. Saltwater Crocodiles were always in the New River. The boys in the village used to fish in the New River.
SO OUR BLESSED RIVERS PLAYED AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN THE SECURITY OF FOOD.