"Monster" Goldfish Lurking In Lake Tahoe Worry Scientists

21 February, 2013

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Follow us: - The goldfish researchers have discovered lurking in the waters of Lake Tahoe are by no means of ordinary size. They are not only huge but also dangerous, scientists say.

Christine Ngai, of the University of Nevada, Reno, was among the researchers who found the first goldfish during a survey of invasive fish in the lake.

"You just see this bright golden orange thing starting to float up, and you're like, what is that? And then you take a net and you scoop it up and you're like, it's a goldfish," Ngai said of the initial discovery.

Ngai said the crew was surprised not just to find the fish, but to see how big they are.

"It's not your average-size goldfish. So, you're like, is that real? Oh, it's real," she told KCRA 3. "It's alive."

The goldfish discovered in Lake Tahoe are giant!

The goldfish can grow to be almost 1.5 feet long. They are not native to the lake and may have been dumped there by aquarium owners.

The problem with the goldfish is the invasive species could adversely impact the Lake Tahoe ecosystem. It is worrisome because goldfish eat a lot and excrete "lots of nutrients." Those nutrients stimulate algae growth.

Some of the goldfish could also eat smaller fish, creating new competition for native trout.

For the moment it remains unclear how many goldfish there are in the Lake Tahoe.

"We know that we have a giant goldfish, the question now becomes how long has it been there and how many others are there in the lake?" Dr Sudeep Chandra, an associate professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, told KCRA.

"As you know at Lake Tahoe, we're trying to keep the lake crystal clear, and excreting nutrients like the composition of miracle grow will stimulate algae growth," Chandra added.

What is happening is a very negative trend and invasive aquarium species are dumped in the wild every year. "Globally, the aquarium trade has contributed a third of the world's worst aquatic and invasive species," Sue Williams, an ecology professor at UC Davis said.

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