From Lee Newman

By January 21, 2018Bil Phillips

In 2010, I finally made the trip to Mexico to take cave training with my long-time friend Bil Phillips. Almost from the moment I arrived, Bil bombarded me, in the best possible way, with questions about the fishes that lived in the cenotes. This dedicated, passionate cave diver and explorer was as excited and interested in the fishes as I was! At the end of almost every session in the caves during the course, he would take me on a little tour of the cenote pointing at fishes that I would have to identify for him once we surfaced. This interest in the biology of the cenotes would eventually lead to Bil asking for my assistance in removing the non-native Tilapia (a plant-eating cichlid fish) from the cenote at Carwash. Over the course of a year or two, they had eaten much of the plant life in the cenote which in turn caused a decrease in the abundance of native fishes. In a couple of years worth of trips, and a few interesting night dives, we managed to remove all but a handful of the Tilapia, restoring the Carwash cenote to its former glory. I’ll miss our little fishing trips.

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