Teller Lake in Boulder County is invaded by an increasing number of goldfish. The Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) rangers are trying to find a way to solve the problem of the fish invasion which threatens to take over the lake.
The invasion was caused by somebody who two or three years ago dumped some goldfish in the water of the lake. The fish have multiplied and the lake has now thousands of goldfish which are dangerous for other species which populate the lake.
The one who notified the authorities about the worrying number of the fish in the lake was Bob Sharp. On Tuesday he went fishing together with his two grandsons and was astonished to see that there were so many goldfish in the lake that it was impossible to count them.
The manager of the wildlife district for Boulder, Colorado, Kristin Cannon, stated that since goldfish are not a native species they are very dangerous for the local aquatic ecosystem. She also added that people are encouraged not to dump the fish they no longer want in the lakes because it is both illegal and bad for the environment.
In order to remove the invasive fish drastic measures need to be taken. A spokeswoman for CPW, Jennifer Churchill, explained that they either need to drain the lake in order to remove the goldfish or use electro fishing. This involves stunning the fish and removing them afterwards.
Biologist Ken Kehmeier said that non-native fish species are extremely harmful for native species in the sense that they can generate competition unbalance and cause disease outbreaks. Kehmeier also added that people are not aware of the damage which exotic species can cause to the environment.
A similar incident happened in 2012 in Colorado. Some goldfish which had been reproducing for two or three years were removed from the Thunderbird Lake. British Columbia experienced similar incidents too. David Scott of Simon Fraser University’s School of Resource and Environmental Management explained that if non-native species established in rivers they would compete with local species such as salmon which is very important for the economy. Invasive fish or reptiles in British Columbia do not have natural predators which could help controlling the harmful species. Dumping fish in rivers is sanctioned with fines between $2,500 and $250,000 in British Columbia.
Experts say that the best thing to do when people no longer want to keep a pet is to return it to the shop where they bought it from.
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