Thanks to 'aquarium dumpers,' giant goldfish invade Lake Tahoe
Monster fish raise concern among scientists as goldfish are invasive species
Gigantic goldfish - something out of an absurd cartoon, have been found spawning in Lake Tahoe. Scientists trawling the lake for invasive fish species scooped up goldfish nearly a foot and-a-half long and weighing in at 4.2 pounds. There is reason for concern, as goldfish - regular or jumbo-sized are an invasive species that could interfere with Lake Tahoe's ecosystem.
It's not yet known whether the giant fish were introduced as fully grown adults, or while they were still small. Even a small creature can have a big impact, if there are enough of them.
The fish were probably dumped by aquarium owners. It's not yet known whether the giant fish were introduced as fully grown adults, or while they were still small. Even a small creature can have a big impact, if there are enough of them.
"The invasion is resulting in the consumption of native species," Chandra said. Scientists have noted that the goldfish are just one of several species of invasive warm-water fishes in Lake Tahoe. These types of fish excrete nutrients that cause algal blooms, which threaten to muddy Tahoe's clear waters.
Aquarium dumping has become a common practice in the United States and elsewhere, and it's taking a toll on native wildlife. A recent report on California's aquarium trade found that fish owners and importers are introducing hardy, nonnative aquatic species to California waters.
Scientists know that the practice of aquarium dumping is occurring because these species could not have ended up in these waters naturally. Between 20 and 69 percent of fish keepers surveyed in Texas admitted to dumping, according to Williams.
Other ways that invasive species find their way into natural ecosystems include aquaculture, live seafood, live bait, and fishing and recreation vessels. More than 11 million non-native marine organisms representing at least 102 species arrive at ports in San Francisco and Los Angeles alone.
The worst invaders include tropical fish, seaweed and snails. An example of one of the worst and most costly invaders was deadly type of seaweed known as Caulerpa, a type of algae that produces toxic compounds that kill off fish. Caulerpa was eradicated in 2000, at great expense from lagoons in Southern California.
Aquarium owners should be more careful when disposing of unwanted fish and other animals, Williams cautioned. "It's pretty simple: Don't dump your fish," she said.
Scientists suggest calling the pet shop that sold the fish or your state department of fish and wildlife. While euthanasia is another option, but simply flushing fish down the toilet can be problematic - for the fish and for your plumbing.
© 2013, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
- - -
Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Gold fish, Lake Tahoe, aquarium dumpers, invasive species
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Green News
- MYSTERY SOLVED? NASA geologist may have found out secret behind 'sailing stones'
- United Nations says world population nearing 7.2 billion
- Was world-famous iceman mummy the victim of foul play?
- Secret wildfires - 'understory fires' taking momentous toll on Amazon rain forest
- Shutting down: Two reactors inside San Onofre Nuclear Plant to be retired
- A Catholic Way of Being Green: Pope Francis Calls Us to Care for Each Other and Creation in a Culture of Solidarity
- Ocean of tires in Kuwait can be seen from outer space
- BACK FROM EXTINCTION: Extinct for 60 years, Hula Painted Frog rediscovered
- The six-foot reptile weighed more than 60 pounds 'Lizard King' named after rock star Jim Morrison
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?