Goldfish the size of FOOTBALLS take over Minnesota lake

Goldfish the size of FOOTBALLS take over Minnesota lake after residents release their unwanted pets into the wild

  • Officials of a Minnesota city are urging residents not to release their pet goldfish into the wild
  • These fish can grow more than one-foot-long when given enough room
  • Officials are pulling fish out from Keller Lake that are the size of footballs
  • These fish become an invasive species and disrupt the ecosystem 

By Stacy Liberatore For Dailymail.com

Published: 20:01, 12 July 2021 | Updated: 00:30, 13 July 2021

The average goldfish, when kept in small aquariums, grows no more than two inches long, but city officials of Burnsville, Minnesota are pulling some out of a nearby lake that are the size of a football.

The giant goldfish were once pets of locals, but were released into Keller Lake where they had enough room and food sources to continuing growing.

Although dropping a small goldfish into a nearby lake may seem harmless, when these underwater creatures grow larger they disrupt the ecosystem.

‘Please don’t release your pet goldfish into ponds and lakes!’ the city tweeted.

‘They grow bigger than you think and contribute to poor water quality by mucking up the bottom sediments and uprooting plants.’

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The average goldfish, when kept in small aquariums, grows no more than two inches long, but city officials of Burnsville, Minnesota are pulling some out of a nearby lake that are the size of a football

Most people get a goldfish from a pet store or as a carnival prize where the fish is kept in a small tank or bowl, limiting how much it can grow.

However, these domestic fish will keep growing in the wild just as long as water temperatures and food sources support it.

‘Instead of releasing your pet goldfish in a local lake or pond, please consider other options for finding them a new home like asking a responsible friend or neighbor to care for it,’ reads the Facebook post from the city of Burnsville.

Burnsville, which is about 15 minutes south of Minneapolis, began surveying the lake’s goldfish population after residents complained of a possible infestation, the Washington Post reports.

Goldfish the size of FOOTBALLS take over Minnesota lake

The giant goldfish were once pets of locals, but were released into Keller Lake where they had enough room and food sources to continuing growing

Working with the company Carp Solutions, a firm that controls water pests, officials investigated the lake and were even surprised at how large the fish were.

Goldfish may appear as harmless pets, but they become an invasive species when released into the wild.

They quickly reproduce, outcompete native species and wreck havoc on the habitat.

And these sly fish are starting to become a problem across the US and around the world, with officials warning residents of the dangers in Virginia, Washington state, Australia and elsewhere.

Like other species of carp, goldfish feed at the bottom of lakes, where they uproot plants and stir up sediment.

This in turn dirties the water and can spark algal blooms that can be toxic to other underwater animals living in the lake.

Goldfish the size of FOOTBALLS take over Minnesota lake

Although dropping a small goldfish into a nearby lake may seem harmless, when these underwater creatures grow larger they disrupt the ecosystem

 However, just because the fish were found in Keller Lake does not mean that is where they were released.

Goldfish are capable of navigating through different bodies of water.

 The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said the fish are able to ‘work their way through city storm water ponds and into lakes and streams downstream with big impacts, by rapidly reproducing, surviving harsh winters and feeding in and stirring up the bottom.’ 

It is illegal to release goldfish in the state’s public waters. 

Last December,  an enormous goldfish weighing 9 pounds, 15 times bigger than the regular pet, was found in a South Carolina lake.

Goldfish the size of FOOTBALLS take over Minnesota lake

Last December, an enormous goldfish weighing 9 pounds, 15 times bigger than the regular pet, was found in a South Carolina lake.

Officials speculated that the huge fish used to be someone’s pet, and they threw it into the lake

Officials speculated that the huge fish used to be someone’s pet, and they threw it into the lake.

When a picture of the shocking discovery was posted on Facebook, one man commented explaining he thought it may be his pet goldfish Lucky.

He said: ‘That is probably my old gold fish. I had to move and when packing him up my brother broke the container.

‘I had no other choice but to release him and hope for the best. Its name was Lucky.

‘This was 11 years ago.

I was so sad.

I truly hope that this was my fish because that means he lived and had a good life.’

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