According to the officials, thousands of goldfish occupied the lake and no one really knows how that happened.
The population of goldfish was first discovered swimming in the Teller Lake (Colorado, Boulder) #5 on the 13th of March. At the moment the population reached more the 4,000 fish and is a serious threat to the ecological balance of the lake.
The experts say that this kind of exotic fish invasion could have disruptive effects on the lake’s ecosystem.
Wildlife officials have some theories on how the goldfish could have gotten into the lake. Some believe that the goldfish were dumped into the lake a few years back and have since multiplied and reached the massive number of today.
Kristin Cannon, wildlife manager of Boulder district, explained that because goldfish are not a native species of the lake, they could be very harmful to the aquatic ecosystem of Teller Lake.
Cannon strongly encourages people not to dump their pet fish into the waters because it’s both illegal and harmful for the environment.
According to Jennifer Churchill, a representative of Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the goldfish population must be removed from the water in order to ensure the lake’s integrity. The lakes officials will remove the fish either by draining Teller Lake and then rebuilding the fish stock native to the lake, or by collecting the goldfish using electroshocking.
Churchill said that once the goldfish are collected from the lake, they are taken to a center for raptor rehabilitation and used as food.
The researchers said that this is not the first time goldfish take over a lake. In 2012, there was a similar incident at Thunderbird Lake in Boulder, where more than 2,000 koi goldfish invaded the lake’s ecosystem. The wildlife officials used a method called “electrofishig” in order to remove all the fish from the lake.
According to the officials, the goldfish had been reproducing in the lake for more than 2 years.
These two incidents are raising questions about the proper handling of pet fish.
Ken Kehmeier, senior aquatic biologist at CPW, said that it’s very dangerous to introduce exotic fish into an environment they don’t belong to.
Kehmeier explained that nonnative fish species can destroy the ecosystem of native population by causing diseases and creating competition.
Kehmeier added that:
“It’s an issue that anyone concerned with our environment should know about.”
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