The War on Texas continues with the placing of two little minnows above the needs of man. The Feds are considering placing the sharpnose shiner and smalleye shiner, which live only in prairie streams in the arid upper Brazos River watershed, on the Endangered Species list. And not just that, the feds want to effectively seize control of 623 miles of river habitat.

The critical habitat proposed to protect the fishes is found in Baylor, Crosby, Fisher, Garza, Haskell, Kent, King, Knox, Stonewall, Throckmorton and Young counties.

An advocacy group for this silliness reports: “The shiners need wide, shallow flowing water with sandy substrate. To reproduce, their eggs and larvae have to remain suspended in flowing water. If the water isn’t flowing fast enough, the eggs and juveniles sink to the bottom and die. Experiments have shown that the fishes need flows of 92 to 227 cubic feet per second to reproduce. They also need at least 171 miles of un-dammed flowing water for the juveniles to reach maturity. The fishes only live for one to two years, so two years of drought could drive them to extinction.”

Fine, now let’s go to the official description of the habitat given by the same group: “that live only in prairie streams in the arid upper Brazos River watershed.” For those who don’t know what arid means, it’s a place that is very dry because of a lack of rain. So these morons want to protect two minnows by keeping water flow up for 171 miles in a place where water often doesn’t flow, even in more wet years, because the Brazos River headwaters are in a semi-arid region.

I can’t even begin to imagine the restrictions on cattle ranching, fines, and the like that will come with such a listing. As Americans, our government is supposed to be afraid of us, not us afraid of it.

Pratt on Texas

Robert Pratt has been active in Texas Republican politics since the Reagan re-elect in 1984. He has served as Lubbock County Republican chairman, and in 2006 founded the Pratt on Texas radio network, providing the news and commentary of Texas on both radio and podcast. Learn more at