A 30-inch snook was saved after a cowfish was found lodged in its mouth. FWC/Contributed

A snook is breathing new life thanks to the efforts of one Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation officer who noticed that the fish wasn’t swimming right. 

Officer Mike Janzen was patrolling the waters under Jewfish Creek bridge in Key Largo recently when he noticed a snook at the surface of the water swimming upside down. Springing into action, Janzen grabbed the fish and brought it onto his vessel.

While inspecting the snook, Janzen noticed a live cowfish was wedged in its mouth in a way that didn’t allow the fish to swallow or spit it out. Janzen carefully pulled the cowfish from the snook’s mouth and placed both fish back in the water, keeping the snook at the surface and running water through its gills until it swam off.

Jim McCarthy is one of the many Western New Yorkers who escaped the snow and frigid temperatures for warm living by the water. A former crime & court reporter and city editor for two Western New York newspapers, Jim has been honing his craft since he graduated from St. Bonaventure University in 2014. In his 4-plus years in the Keys, Jim has enjoyed connecting with the community. “One of my college professors would always preach to be curious,” he said. “Behind every person is a story that’s unique to them, and one worth telling. As writers, we are the ones who paint the pictures in the readers minds of the emotions, the struggles and the triumphs.” Jim is past president of the Key Largo Sunset Rotary Club, which is composed of energetic members who serve the community’s youth and older populations. Jim is a sports fanatic who loves to watch football, hockey, mixed martial arts and golf. He also enjoys time with family and his new baby boy, Lucas, who arrived Oct. 4, 2022.