Releasing pet goldfish into the wild has serious consequences.

Facing the Great Lakes. Invasive species That started in homes across the United States. Common goldfish (Carassius auratus) is wreaking havoc when released into lakes, streams and ponds by pet owners. For many decades And scientists are trying to follow fish to solve this problem. Types of A freshwater fish native to Asia. It is usually only five inches long in a home aquarium, but can be up to 19 inches long and Tip the scales at nine pounds When they swim freely.

(Related: Whatever you do, do not release your pet goldfish into the stream..)

In the Great Lakes, they are an invasive species that will “eat anything and everything,” says a Fisheries and Oceans Canada aquatic research biologist. Christine Boston said The New York Times. These seemingly benign house pets can harm native marine wildlife, uproot plants, contribute to harmful algal blooms, and eat plants in ecologically and economically sensitive regions.

According to The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental SciencesInvasive goldfish will eat the eggs of native fish species. They will too. take over Areas that other fish will use for reproduction and shelter. Even goldfish are able to reproduce with local common carp. Create large hybrid species which are equally harmful.

Oh The study was published in November Journal of Great Lakes Research Details show how an invasive population of goldfish in Hamilton Harbor is changing the area. The harbor on Lake Ontario, southwest of Toronto, is one of them. The most ecologically damaged areas of the Great Lakes due to industrial activities and building. The team captured 19 adult goldfish between June 2017 and October 2018. Implantable transmitter In the fish that scientists used to track where goldfish swim.

The team found that goldfish spent the winter in the same area and returned to the same places to spawn each year. They predicted when fish would swim into swimming areas by studying how many fish were present, where they were congregating, and water temperature. They then built models that accurately predicted tagged fish and observed when they tended to visit their spawning grounds. The temperature reached about 50 degrees Fahrenheit..

This research helped identify goldfish populations. some of Options for capturing them are included. Using nets under the winter ice, electrocuting them, or pulling them out of the water. Catching goldfish before they start spawning is a good chance to get the fish out of lakes, especially since they reproduce several times in a mating season and can live up to 25 years.

(Related: How goldfish use alcohol to get through a harsh winter..)

“They have the resources and they can take advantage of them,” Boston saidwho is a co-author of the study.

Lake Erie is no exception to this problem. In August 2022, a foot-long goldfish was reported in Fairport Harbor, north of Cleveland. According to the Ohio Division of Wildlife. Goldfish have also been seen. Waterways in Minnesota and I Illinois.

If you can no longer care for live goldfish, Recommended by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Trying to find another foster, donating the fish to a pet store or school, and checking out online forums and social media dedicated to pet adoption.

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