A local lake in Boulder, Colorado, has become infested with thousands of goldfish. The authorities have now launched an investigation to find the reason behind it.
Officials of the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) have launched an investigation after finding close to 3000-4000 goldfish in Teller Lake #5. Goldfish are non-native fish and the officials are concerned that such a large population might disturb the eco-system.
According to the officials, fish that are native to lake — channel catfish, blue gill fish and sun fish — are now being threatened by the invasive goldfish.
CPW spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill said, “Dumping your pets into a lake could bring diseases to native animals and plants as well as out-compete them for resources. Everything can be affected. Non-native species can potentially wipe out the fishery as we’ve put it together.”
Officials believe that a handful of goldfish may have been dumped into the lake several years ago. The pet fish may have then multiplied to the massive number seen today.
They have added that this fish population will have to be removed in order to ensure the integrity of Teller Lake. This can be done either by draining the lake and rebuilding the natural fish stock or by bringing in specialized boats that would pick out only the goldfish from the water by electroshocking.
“With electroshocking, you go in the boat and stun the fish to paralyze and collect them. The shock doesn’t kill the fish. The fish could also be collected if the lake is drained. I’m going to talk to Boulder County, who owns the lake to see what they think, but I don’t want to send the message that collecting fish for personal fun is okay,” added Churchill.
This is not the first such incident to happen in Boulder. A similar event was observed at Thunderbird Lake in Boulder where about 2,275 nonnative koi goldfish overwhelmed the ecosystem. The lake was later cleaned by the officials using electroshocking.