From: Associated Press
Published March 2, 2005 12:00 AM

Alabama Lawmaker Targets Ugly Fish Law

MONTGOMERY, Ala.— Fishermen often utter obscenities and throw their catch back in the water after hooking the long, skinny, ugly fish known as a garfish.

What they probably don't know is that, according to Alabama law, they are supposed to suddenly become the garfish's executioner.

The Alabama House passed a bill Tuesday to repeal a 1943 law requiring fishermen who catch a garfish -- also called "junk fish" or "trash fish" -- to kill it rather than throw it back in the water to be caught again.

Rep. Jeff McLaughlin said he's not sure why lawmakers initially wanted to kill the garfish. But he said the bill he sponsored is part of his effort to highlight some of Alabama's archaic laws and outdated language in the state constitution.

"I just want to point out the odd laws we don't need anymore," he said.

McLaughlin has also introduced a bill to remove language from the constitution that requires the Legislature to regulate dueling.

Associated Press

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