Garfield the Catfish is All Grown Up
By Office of Communication
Posted on May 15, 2012, May 15, 2012

The channel catfish, which spent the past seven months in an aquarium at the Lake Arlington Branch Library, was released into the wild Monday at Lake Arlington.

"Garfield was educated at the Arlington Public Library, and he will now be the smartest fish in the Lake Arlington School," jokes Marc Marchand, who is better known as the city's fishing librarian.

As the fishing librarian, Marchand works to educate Arlington residents about two of his greatest loves fishing and reading.

Funded by the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation and Nickelodeon, the fishing librarian program made its debut in fall 2010 and has helped hundreds of Arlington families get hooked through free fishing classes across the city. Marchand has watched many children and even adults catch their first fish.

Teaching children to fish helps build their connection to the outdoors, he said. Encouraging them to read opens the doors to the world.

"A lot of kids today have no idea where their groceries come from. In their world, the fields are always ready to be harvested and always plentiful because they know nothing beyond the grocery store," he said. "But in the future, these kids will be responsible for taking care of the natural world, so we want to educate them about our eco-system."

Fishing is family friendly and affordable, said Marchand, who also manages library services for East Arlington.

"There's always a place for a fishing pole and can of worms," he said. "This is a way for families to get involved in the outdoors, spent time together and learn about the natural world."

As for Garfield, he outgrew the 200-gallon freshwater aquarium at Lake Arlington Branch Library he has called home since November. Born at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries in Athens, he will now live in Lake Arlington, which has been ranked the state's No. 1 lake for channel catfish.

And library lovers need not worry. Garfield's smaller catfish friends still call the library home.

By Sarah Bahari

 Catfish is All Grown Up

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