Fisherman Helps Community Crack Down On Giant Invasive Species

Authorities in Colorado recently announced a shocking discovery – a large number of invasive fish have been found in a local pond. According to a press release published by Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) on Monday, an angler tipped off officials to the presence of bighead carp in Jack B. Tomlinson Park in Arvada, Colorado last week. On further investigation, a whopping 14 bighead carp were found in the pond, all of which were at least three feet long. The heaviest of the bunch weighed a staggering 46 pounds.

These fish, which are part of the Asian carp family, are not native to Colorado and have a negative impact on the local ecosystem. As stated by CPW, bighead carp are prolific eaters and feed primarily on plankton. Their large appetites often result in competition with native and sport fish species, which also depend on plankton as a food source.

Robert Walters, the Invasive Species Program Manager at CPW, explained that these fish can cause significant damage to the environment. “Once established, these fish can outcompete native Colorado species for food and resources,” he said in a statement. According to Walters, this is due to their ability to grow to incredible sizes and their voracious appetite – even in small bodies of water.

The presence of bighead carp in Colorado waters is highly unusual, according to Kara Van Hoose, the Public Information Officer for the Northeast Region at CPW. She also stated that anglers should report any unfamiliar sightings while fishing to CPW. “This is a good example of what can happen to fish that don’t have any natural predators in the area and an endless supply of food,” Van Hoose advised.

The story of how the bighead carp ended up in the pond goes back to 1992 when they were introduced as part of a national study to reduce algae growth. Although they were removed from the pond in 1995, the species persisted and has now caused a major disturbance to the local ecosystem. “The carp outcompeted any other species in the pond and negatively affected the pond’s overall aquatic health,” stated Van Hoose.

In a social media post, CPW joked that “many Jaws jokes were made” about the discovery. However, they also expressed their gratitude to the angler who brought the issue to their attention. “This operation all started with a tip from an angler,” said Philip Sorensen, District Wildlife Manager for Westminster and Arvada. “We are grateful when the public reaches out to tell us about invasive species in their neighborhoods. We want to know about the presence of invasive species.”

The discovery of the bighead carp has raised concerns about the impact of invasive species on the local environment and the need for early detection and prevention measures. According to CPW, these fish pose a significant threat to native species and can disrupt the delicate balance of ecosystems. As a result, it is crucial for authorities to be informed if any invasive species are spotted.

Efforts are now underway to remove the bighead carp from the pond and prevent them from spreading to other bodies of water. CPW warns that if these fish are left unchecked, they have the potential to cause significant harm to the environment. It is hoped that by taking quick action and involving the community, the situation will be resolved before it escalates further.


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