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Friday, January 27, 2017

Goldfish multiplies and causes trouble at Teller Lake, Colorado

Boulder County is one of the 64 counties of the U.S. state of Colorado of the United States.  The Teller Lake in Colorado is in news as experts believe, it  may have to be drained !  

Fishes are attractive and pleasing to look at ! – there are many species of aquarium fish that are kept in smaller tanks.  Gold fish in a small round bowl looks pretty  pleasing to eyes!  Some species of Gold fish and koi are amongst the most common pets of modern aquarium.  In the holy ‘Kairavini Pushkarini’of Thiruvallikkeni, there were varieties of guppies.  In the 70s, Corporation workers would carry them in small earthern pots and dispense a few of  them in the wells at homes after making an entry on the wall of the building.  Legend has it that the famed Temple tank was fully of lily flowers giving it the name – but did not have fish.  Guppies were introduced in the middle of last century as they were effective against mosquito eating its larvae.

Gold fish exist in a far wider range of colours than the name implies.  Gold fish are associated with ancient pottery of Ming dynasty and there are 100s of varieties.  It is considered one of the earliest domesticated fish.    The goldfish (Carassius auratus auratus) is a freshwater fish in the family Cyprinidae of order Cypriniformes.  Goldfish breeds vary greatly in size, body shape, fin configuration and colour.  There are some who like keeping many varieties of fish together – community aquaria.  

The ones inside have to be compatible in temperament [requirement of any good society]  and water requirements.  We tend to think that aquarium pets live in protected environment and if introduced to natural lake or other water bodies, could get killed and could vanish soon ! – perhaps not the case !!


Some say that they grow according to its container and would grow bigger in bigger water bodies – here is some news of them multiplying in Colorado lake, threatening to destroy the natural ecosystem.

News sites are replete of Teller Lake in Boulder, Colorado, being  overrun with 3,000-4,000 goldfish.  Officials believe four or five fish were dumped two or three years ago !... the lake becoming a big fish bowl is the news – the  lake in Boulder, Colorado, now stands  invaded by thousands of gold fish, which wildlife officials say started as someone dumping 'four or five' of their pets in the water two or three years ago.

The animals have now multiplied to over 3,000 or 4,000, it's believed, and are threatening to over-run the natural species in the lake, by eating up all their resources and spreading unnatural diseases.  'Dumping your pets into a lake could bring diseases to native animals and plants as well as out-compete them for resources,  ‘Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) spokeswoman  is quoted as telling  ABC News.

Goldfish are not a native species in Colorado and are very harmful to the local aquatic ecosystem, it is stated.    Fish that are native to the lake that are now being threatened by the invasive goldfish include channel catfish, blue gill fish and sun fish. It is stated that local officials are considering two options - electroshocking the fish or draining the lake – which can be quite arduous.  

The lake is spread over 12 acres and draining could be cumbersome.  The other method is  electrofishing, where the fish are stunned by an electrical current and removed while they are paralyzed, which again could involve many workers.  Reportedly, it was  a successful method used in November 2012 at Thunderbird Lake, also in Boulder, to remove koi goldfish from the water that had been improperly introduced.  With electroshocking, crews go out in a boat, stun the fish to paralyze and then collect the floating fish.

'Nonnative species can be devastating to native populations by causing disease outbreaks and creating competition unbalance. – and hence people should not be introducing exotic species to the environment – is what a Senior aquatic biologist is quoted as saying.  Despite the amount of fish in the lake, officials have warned locals against retrieving some of the fish and taking them home as pets. The gold fish will likely end up at a local raptor rehabilitation program as food.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
9th April 2015.


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