BOULDER, CO – Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) officials say the state’s Teller Lake #5 has been overrun by more than 3,000 pet goldfish.
The officials believe that the astronomical number of goldfish was caused by someone simply dumping four or five of them in the lake a few years ago. The fish, not native to the lake, have since multiplied, and now pose a threat to the lake’s entire aquatic ecosystem.
“It’s a bad thing — it’s a really bad thing,” Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesman Jennifer Churchill told Fox 31 News, adding that the goldfish will “start eating up everything that the native fish, and the amphibians, and the birds are here to eat.”
“That can have a really negative effect down the road — and this can kill this fishery in a few years.”
An image of Teller Lake #5’s goldfish ambush
Wildlife officials believe the invasive fish are already posing a threat to the channel catfish, bluegill fish and sunfish, all native to the lake.
In order to deal with the problem, officials are contemplating either electro-shocking the massive goldfish population or draining the lake. In either case, the fish would not be killed, but collected and transported to a bird sanctuary, where they will be used for feeding. Churchill explains:
“With electroshocking, you go in the boat and stun the fish to paralyze and collect them…The fish could also be collected if the lake is drained.”
The overrun lake is close to a residential neighborhood, where the original goldfish dumping culprit may be located
Some local residents have offered to collect the goldfish and keep them as pets, but Churchill has discouraged the practice, not wanting to send the message that “collecting fish for personal fun” is okay.
It is also unlikely any collection of residents will have bowls large enough for the 3,000 plus fishies. And we wouldn’t even want to think about naming them all.
Wildlife officials are currently seeking information as to who may have released the original goldfish into Teller Lake #5.