- (Photo: Reuters)
A monster goldfish has been found in Lake Tahoe, according to new reports out this week.
Researchers reportedly were trawling the lake for fish species when they were left stunned after a massive goldfish was scooped up. The giant fish was nearly 1.5 feet long and weighed 4.2 pounds, according to Live Science.
Environmental scientist, Sudeep Chandraof, from the University of Nevada in Reno, told LiveScience: "During these surveys, we've found a nice corner where there's about 15 other goldfish. It's an indication that they were schooling and spawning."
However, experts have been left concerned by the new find. As goldfish are an invasive species, they are worried that they could interfere with the lake's natural ecosystem. They believe that the fish was likely dumped in the river by aquarium owners, although it is not clear whether the goldfish was dumped when it was still small or when it was a fully grown adult.
A single goldfish would not be of too much concern, but if there are many more goldfish in the lake it could unbalance the equilibrium of ecosystem in Lake Tahoe.
Chandra explained, "The invasion is resulting in the consumption of native species."
Goldfish also excrete nutrients which in theory could result in large algal blooms, which in turn could muddy the waters of Lake Tahoe, Chandra told Live Science.
Experts know that aquarium dumping is becoming more of a problem as increasing numbers of species are being found in locations where they do not appear naturally. According to Live Science between 20 to 69 percent of fish keepers surveyed in Texas admit to dumping fish.
The Live Science report also pointed out that the largest pet goldfish, according to the BBC, was a fish named Goldie that was 15 inches (38 cm) long and weighed more than 2 pounds (0.9 kg).
Here is a video of another monster goldfish like the one found in Lake Tahoe recently: