Goldfish have become an invasive species which have negatively impacted lakes within the United States, as well as around the world. Large goldfish have been found in lakes within the United States such as Lake Tahoe, Quemado Lake in New Mexico, and Lake St. Clair in Michigan. Experts are worried how fast goldfish can breed and alter an ecosystem.
Goldfish dumping is happening around the nation. They are common in family aquariums and backyard pools. They can easily be obtained, usually being among the least expensive fish to purchase. In addition to that, they can be brought home through other means, for instance, people can acquire a goldfish out of a game booth at a fair. When the goldfish is no longer desired, or maybe due to the necessity to move, people can think that they are being kind to their pet goldfish by setting it free in a nearby lake, rather than killing it. But while they may save their pet’s lifestyle, the goldfish may destroy a whole population of native fish.
According to an expert, Wildlife Removal Melbourne FL, who’s an ecology professor at the University of California, aquarium dumping has generated one third of the world’s worst aquatic invasive species.
Goldfish create waste, which feeds algae near the coast. Their feeding habits not only reduce water clarity, they can also ultimately bring about a decrease in water oxygen. This then increases water temperatures, which then destroys the natural habitat for young, juvenile fish. Goldfish root around in the sand, which makes the waters murky and suspends sediment.
Because Lake Tahoe is a massive tourist attraction for boating, hiking, cycling, and swimming, biologists have been employed in an attempt to maintain the waters pristine. They discovered that goldfish are becoming an invasive species. In 2011, biologists discovered a 14.2 inch goldfish weighing over three pounds. Goldfish in Lake Tahoe eat minnows, which are food for trout.
Not only are goldfish an issue to Lake Tahoe, but pollution and climate change have become problems to the Lake Tahoe ecosystem. Thus, with all the challenges to Lake Tahoe, goldfish can be a factor that may tip the balance to an entirely different type 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 goldfish is Quemado Lake in New Mexico. More than five and a half tons of goldfish have been removed from this lake. There were numerous goldfish, it gave the lake an orange hue.
1 way to eliminate the invasive fish is to shock them, which stuns the fish and allows them to be gathered and removed. Few fish actually die from electric shock.
One third of the worst invasive aquatic species of the world has come from the practice of dumping aquarium goldfish and other non-native fish. Like the pythons who have invaded the Florida Keys, and are becoming a significant problem that’s eating natural species and affecting the natural habitat, goldfish are become a serious invasive problem due to aquarium owners that are dumping unwanted fish, not realizing the serious consequences of their activities.