Colorado Lake Overrun With Thousands of Pet Goldfish

Well, the first few were pets; now they're invasive
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2015 1:20 PM CDT
Updated Apr 11, 2015 7:00 PM CDT
Colorado Lake Overrun With Thousands of Pet Goldfish
A photo of a common goldfish.   (AP Photo/Peter Ponzio)

Keeping a few goldfish alive in a bowl can seem tough enough. Boulder is facing a very different problem. A press release put out by Colorado Parks and Wildlife explains that goldfish have multiplied into the thousands in the 12-acre Teller Lake #5. ABC News reports that they may now number as high as 4,000, and that wildlife officials suspect they started as perhaps four or five abandoned pets two or three years ago. Now, they "will likely need to be removed to maintain the integrity of the lake," explains CPW. ABC Denver reports that there are two options available: draining the entire lake, or electrofishing, in which fish are stunned by an electrical current that's placed in the water; they're then removed from the lake while paralyzed.

"Goldfish are not a native species and are very harmful to the local aquatic ecosystem," says Boulder district wildlife manager Jennifer Churchill, who explains nonnative species can foster disease or throw off the lake's ecosystem. As for what kind of fish they are, they're really "just goldfish," Churchill says. During a recent visit, the Daily Camera reports seeing goldfish roughly two to four inches in length, many a "vivid gold" color. The goldfish won't get a second life as pets; though ABC Denver reports that people have been phoning parks officials asking if they can head to the lake to retrieve some to take home, officials have said no. The goldfish will likely end up as food at a local raptor rehabilitation program. (Then there are the owners who will spend hundreds to save a constipated goldfish.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.