Goldfish have become an invasive species which have negatively affected lakes within the USA, as well as around the world. Large goldfish are found in lakes within America such as Lake Tahoe, Quemado Lake in New Mexico, and Lake St. Clair in Michigan. Experts are worried how fast goldfish can breed and change an ecosystem.
Goldfish dumping is happening across the nation. They are common in household aquariums and backyard pools. They are easily obtained, usually being one of the cheapest fish to buy. In addition to that, they can be brought home through other means, as an example, people can acquire a goldfish from a game booth at a fair. When the goldfish is no longer desired, or perhaps due to the necessity to move, people can believe 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 ruin an entire population of native fish.
According to an expert, Melbourne FL Wildlife Control, who is 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 around the shore. Their feeding habits not only reduce water clarity, they may also ultimately bring about a decrease in water oxygen. This then increases water temperatures, which in turn destroys the natural habitat for young, juvenile fish. Goldfish root around in the mud, which makes the waters murky and suspends sediment.
Since Lake Tahoe is a massive tourist attraction for boating, hiking, cycling, and swimming, biologists are employed in an effort to keep 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 sort of lake composition.
As previously mentioned, another lake invaded by goldfish is Quemado Lake in New Mexico. Over five and a half tons of goldfish have been eliminated from this lake. There were so many goldfish, it gave the lake an orange hue.
One way to eliminate the invasive fish is to shock them, which stuns the fish and allows them to be gathered and removed. Few fish really die from electrical 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 who are dumping unwanted fish, not realizing the serious consequences of their actions.