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It seems a few years ago, some people decided to get rid of their goldfish and though it would be a good idea to dump them into Boulder, a lake situated in Colorado. Now, their descendants have overpopulated the lake and are becoming a serious issue.
Boulder Lake is now the home of approximately 4,000 goldfish.
A better idea would have been to give the animals to a pet shop or find a fish-loving neighbor or friend who could take them. But some people thought of the worst scenario – flushing them down the toilet – and decided a better idea would be to leave them in the 12-acre Teller Lake no. 5 located near Arapahoe Road.
This happened a few years ago. And interesting enough, the fish did not perish. Their population flourished massively and now Colorado wildlife officials are facing a major environmental issue. The “intruders” were first noticed around March 13.
Kristin Cannon, the district wildlife manager for Lake Boulder explained that these fish “are not a native species and are very harmful to the local aquatic ecosystem”.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) officials are concerned because if they don’t remove the 4,000 goldfish from the lake, they will become a competition to the native fish species while also spreading disease and affecting the aquatic ecosystem.
So the next step is clear. CPW stated that the goldfish “will likely need to be removed to maintain the integrity of the lake”.
According to Jennifer Churchill, spokeswoman for CPW, there are two options: either draining the lake or electro-fishing which is the process of removing the fish by first stunning them with the help of an electrical current used because it simplifies the whole operation.
Cannon now asks people to refrain themselves from dumping their no longer wanted pet fish in the lake because not only is it harmful to the environment but it is also illegal.
This isn’t the first fish dumping incident. One similar event took place in November 2012 when more than 2,275 non-native, exotic Koi goldfish were electro-fished from Boulder’s Thunderbird Lake. Investigations revealed the fish were dumped into the lake about three years before.
So what happens to the 4,000 goldfish after they will be removed from the lake? They will most likely be used as food for a regional raptor rehabilitation program.
Image Source: abc News