Public plea issued after catch of freakishly large goldfish

·2 min read

Fisheries officials in Canada are sharing images of monstrous goldfish pulled from a Lake Ontario waterway and begging the public to stop releasing aquarium fish into the wild.

“Ever wonder what happens to pet goldfish when they end up in our waterways?” Fisheries and Oceans asked Wednesday via Twitter. “This one was pulled from Hamilton Harbour, where we’re studying this invasive species using acoustic transmitter tags.”

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The agency referred to the image atop this post, showing a freakishly large goldfish that clearly had been thriving at the expense of native flora and fauna.

“By tracking these goldfish,” Fisheries and Oceans continued, “we’ve learned that they’re breeding in Hamilton Harbour and targeting key spawning sites for native species like Northern Pike – tearing up aquatic plants for food and clouding the waters with their waste. That’s why it’s important to never release pets into the wild.”

Damage to native fisheries can be extensive wherever goldfish are released. They typically weigh less than half a pound in captivity, but can exceed five pounds in the wild, where they multiply and become voracious.

Several states in the U.S. are dealing with the same issues.

In July the City of Burnsville in Minnesota issued a similar public plea, tweeting images showing enormous goldfish pulled from Keller Lake.

“Please don’t release your pet goldfish into ponds and lakes!” the City of Burnsville tweeted. “They grow bigger than you think and contribute to poor water quality by mucking up the bottom sediments and uprooting plants.”

–Images courtesy of Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans

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