How many times have you had a goldfish, they died an untimely death, and then you flushed it down the toilet? I can think of at least a dozen times I did this as a child. It was a great way for a child to learn about life and death, plus it makes for easy clean up for the parents. Goldfish are pretty inexpensive to purchase, and also a very low maintenance animal. But what happens when that goldfish isn’t quite dead, and it manages to find its way to the closest pond or lake? In some towns, goldfish are actually causing a lot of havoc for their eco-systems. This has been happening in the United States, France, and Switzerland, just to name a few. There have been a few fisherman across the world that have been able to reel these goldfish in, and they are growing into giant goldfish. You might want to think twice before flushing your ‘dead’ goldfish down the toilet or dumping them into a lake.
Considering these may have started off as itty bitty goldfish, I’m not so sure I’d want to eat one of these. Right now, Washington state is fighting off an invasion! The culprit? Goldfish. Yup, you heard right.
Thousands of goldfish have infested the West Medical Lake and are crowding out the native fish population. The Department of Fish and Wildlife thinks a few irresponsible pet owners are to blame. And while the goldfish may have cost the owners a few dollars, this mess is going to run cost the state an estimated $150,000 to try to remove these feral fish.
If you think you’re doing the goldfish a favor by releasing it or flushing it down the toilet, you’re not! Instead, you’re setting the stage for an ecological disaster, which could threaten hundreds of other species. Turns out, goldfish are one of the world’s worst invasive species.
It has become a real problem.
They may look small and cute in your home, but in the wild, it’s a different story. Given enough time and resources, these little orange monsters will grow into giants.
Or even worse when you consider they may have come from someone’s toilet!
These big fish are also big eaters. Feeding on plants, insects, crustaceans, and other fish. But they’re not just consuming what other fish rely on to survive, they’re voracious feeding time actually kicks up mud and sediment which can lead to harmful algae blooms that choke the ecosystem.
That’s a good size fish.
There are similar accounts of goldfish invasions in Epping Forest, London, Alberta, Canada, and Lake Tahoe, Nevada. In fact, invasive fish species accounted for over half of the total fish population in Lake Tahoe Basin.
I bet this doesn’t happen every day at the veterinary office.
They get massive.
Goldfish are also smarter than you might think.
They are not supposed to be in our lakes.
Goldfish have a memory span of at least 3 months.
They also can tell the difference between Stravinsky and Bach.
This is a little bit scary considering how goldfish apparently adapt to the world around them. So what’s the best way to get rid of a deceased goldfish? First off, make sure it’s really dead. Then remove it from the tank. You can dig a small hole in the ground that’s big enough for the fish, cover it back up with dirt, then put a rock on top of the shallow grave. This will make sure animals don’t try to dig it up.
So, consider the wildlife, and think twice before tossing that goldfish away.