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Discarded goldfish are becoming an invasive species

Goldfish have become an invasive species that has negatively affected lakes within the United States and around the world. Large goldfish have been found in lakes within the United States, such as Lake Tahoe, Lake Quemado in New Mexico, and Lake St. Clair in Michigan. Experts are concerned about how quickly goldfish can reproduce and change an ecosystem.

Goldfish dumping is happening across the country. They are common in family aquariums and garden pools. They are easily obtained, being generally one of the least expensive fish to buy. Not only that, they can be brought home through other means, for example, people can win a goldfish from a game booth at a fair. When goldfish are no longer desired, or perhaps because of a need to move, people may think that they are being nice to their pet goldfish by setting it free in a nearby lake, rather than killing it. However, while they can save your pet’s life, goldfish can destroy an entire population of native fish.

According to one expert, Sue Williams, a professor of ecology at the University of California, discharge into aquariums has created one-third of the worst invasive aquatic species in the world. Aquarium fish can become an invasive species and goldfish of all species cause some of the worst invasive damage.

The goldfish create debris that feed the algae near the shore. Your eating habits not only reduce the clarity of your water, but can also ultimately lead to a decrease in oxygen in your water. This, in turn, raises the temperature of the water, which in turn destroys the natural habitat of young and juvenile fish. Goldfish move in the mud, causing the waters to turn cloudy and suspending sediment.

Goldfish has been in Lake Tahoe since the 1990s. Because Lake Tahoe is a great tourist attraction for boating, hiking, biking, and swimming, biologists have been employed in an effort to keep the waters pristine. They found that goldfish are becoming an invasive species. In 2011, biologists discovered a 14.2-inch goldfish that weighed more than three pounds. The goldfish in Lake Tahoe eat minnows, which are food for trout.

Not only are goldfish a problem for Lake Tahoe, pollution and climate change have also become problems for the Lake Tahoe ecosystem. So, with all of Lake Tahoe’s challenges, goldfish can be a factor that can tip the balance toward an entirely different kind of lake composition. In 2011, Nevada passed a law making it illegal to dump goldfish and other invasive fish.

As already mentioned, another lake invaded by colorful fish is Quemado Lake in New Mexico. More than five and a half tons of goldfish have been extracted from this lake. There were so many colorful fish that it gave the lake an orange hue.

One way to eliminate invading fish is to electrocute them, which stuns the fish and allows them to be collected and killed. Few fish actually die from electric shock.

One third of the world’s worst invasive aquatic species comes from the practice of shedding aquarium goldfish and other non-indigenous fish. Like the pythons that have invaded the Florida Keys and become a serious problem that is eating wild species and affecting the natural habitat, goldfish have become a serious invasive problem due to aquarium owners They are discarding unwanted fish, unaware of the dire consequences of their actions.

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