Local Officials Warn Pet Owners About Dumping Goldfish In Lakes

Two different fishermen recently made the news because they caught large goldfish. No, they weren’t fishing in their own aquarium, they were fishing in local waters.

They may have made the news, but officials in those areas are not happy about the headlines.

Confirmation took place on Facebook when the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources posted that one fisherman had caught a goldfish in Hunting Creek.

It wasn’t your run-of-the-mill goldfish that you would bring home from the carnival, this one broke a record because it weighed 3 pounds, 9 ounces. Jeremy Fortner had been on a fishing trip on the Potomac River during May, but the catch was only recently confirmed.

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This was not news that the DWR was celebrating. In the Facebook post, they said: “The introduction of goldfish to waterbodies is illegal in Virginia. Pet owners should never release their aquatic organisms into the wild as unforeseen impacts can occur including disease, competition, and predation.”


As it turns out, this wasn’t just a local event. About the same time that this record was going in the record books, a 9-pound butterfly koi fish was caught in Missouri.

This was also posted on Facebook, but this time it was the Missouri Department of Conservation. They spoke about the fish that was caught at Blue Springs Lake Remembrance.

Unlike the goldfish, the fish caught in Missouri does not seem to be a record but it did prompt a warning that was similar to the one given in Virginia.

The Department said: “When pet owners dump ornamental fish like this, it can cause serious issues for native species.” They went on to say that local pet stores may take the fish back or aquarium clubs in your local area are a better alternative to dumping the fish in a local creek or lake.

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