Thousands of pet goldfish overrun Colorado lake
Wednesday, April 8, 2015, 3:08 PM - Colorado officials have released a statement asking residents to stop dumping pet goldfish into Teller Lake in the community of Boulder. The invasive species has overrun the area, with numbers in the thousands.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) workers first noticed the fish on March 13 and will likely need remove them in an effort to preserve the lake.
"Goldfish are not a native species and are very harmful to the local aquatic ecosystem," said Kristin Cannon, district wildlife manager for Boulder, Colorado, in a statement.
"We strongly encourage the public not to dump their unwanted pet fish in our waters. It is bad for our environment as well as illegal."
This isn't the first time goldfish have been dumped in Colorado.
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In November 2012, 2,275 non-native goldfish were removed from Colorado's Thunderbird Lake. It's estimated the fish had been reproducing for two to three years.
"Most people don't realize the far-reaching effects of introducing exotic species to the environment," Ken Kehmeier, senior aquatic biologist for CPW said in a statement.
"Nonnative species can be devastating to native populations by causing disease outbreaks and creating competition unbalance. It's an issue that anyone concerned with our environment should know about."
INVASIVE GOLDFISH AN ISSUE IN COQUITLAM, B.C.
Back in August, there were numerous reports of goldfish in B.C. waters, putting significant strain on the ecosystem.
That prompted authorities to enforce fines between $2,500 and $250,000 to anyone caught dumping the fish.
"If you have non-native species that become established in let's say the Fraser River, they would be competing and influencing dozens of local species that we have here including salmon which are economically important," David Scott, from Simon Fraser University's School of Resource and Environmental Management, told the CBC at the time.
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Fish and reptiles that aren't found naturally in B.C. are considered invasive. They typically don't have any natural predators to keep their population at bay, which can throw the entire ecosystem off balance.
Wildlife experts say the best thing to do with an unwanted pet is to return it to the shop it was purchased from.