Tiny Pet Goldfish Dumped in Lakes Are Now Giants Threating Habitats

giant goldfish

Goldfish owners who are tired of having a pet occasionally release them into public lakes or ponds and this is not a good idea. The city of Burnsville, Minnesota, explained Friday why pet owners never dump their fish into the nearest lake.

Alongside three photos of gigantic, football-size goldfish, the city wrote, “Please don’t release your pet goldfish into ponds and lakes! They grow bigger than you think and contribute to poor water quality by mucking up the bottom sediments and uprooting plants. Groups of these large goldfish were recently found in Keller Lake.”

According to the Washington Post, Burnsville citizens recently started complaining about “a possible infestation” in the lake, and the city and neighboring Apple Valley sent a water-pest company, Carp Solutions, to find out and investigate.

Twitter users replied, with one person sharing a photo of a fairly large goldfish they also located in Keller Lake.

“That’s where I found this one a couple of years ago,” Josh Holt wrote, sharing a photo of a dead goldfish the size of a tennis shoe.

“A few goldfish might seem to some like a harmless addition to the local water body, but they’re not,” the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said back in January. “Goldfish are in the minnow family and can work their way through city stormwater ponds and into lakes and streams downstream with big impacts, by rapidly reproducing, surviving harsh winters, and feeding in and stirring up the bottom like their close relatives, the common carp.”

“Illegal stocking can upset the delicate balance of existing fish communities, spread fish disease, and bring other unintended consequences that can linger for years,” the DNR article says.

There are other options for unwanted fish. The US Fish and Wildlife Service suggests finding someone who wants to have your fish, possibly by donating it to a pet store or school or asking in a forum of fish owners to adopt the fish.

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