Don’t Flush the Fish

Written by Lauren Buser Media. by Baylen Whitfield. [divide]

When a child asks for a puppy, you give them a goldfish. Many parents believe goldfish are a wonderful starter pet for their children.

Young girl watching a fishbowl --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis
Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Goldfish are cheap and easy to maintain, but when mom and dad are tired of taking care of the fish, down the toilet they go. Naturally, the fish are swept through the pipes and out into a body of water, usually a lake. Goldfish, however, are not a natural species of most lakes, which can cause an invasive problem for the habitat of the lake.

Boulder, Colo.:

This goldfish invasion is causing talk in Boulder, Colo. Most say that while one person dumping a few goldfish into a lake does not seem like a problem but when this happens multiple times, it creates an invasion. This lake, Teller Lake No. 5, was consumed with 4,000 goldfish. Experts are trying to decide the best way of removal without harming the naturally occurring species of the lake.

Jennifer Welsh, author of the article “An Answer to Invasive Species: Eat Them,” explains two different ways to deal with Invasive Species. The term “Invasivore” is widely used among those who go out to hunt and eat invasive species. This is something that happens rather often. Since many people are interested in skins and hides of animals, another popular idea is to create clothing items out of such species. Thus, instead of making a species go extinct for fashion, use the species in which there is abundance. While these are both very exciting ways to get rid of an invasive species, experts in Boulder, Colo. believe the most logical way to remove the goldfish is to drain the lake.

Lion Fish Invasion

Why Invasion is a Problem:
When a species is introduced into and takes root in an unnatural habitat, it is called an invasive species. An invasive
species can cause many problems in a habitat. It changes the food chain and creates competition with other species. For example, if goldfish are introduced to a lake, the goldfish may eat the same food as another species of fish. This causes competition between the species. This, in turn, creates a “survival of the fittest” situation, possibly causing depletion or extinction of one species.
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While goldfish may be mindless and easy pets to care for, they can cause serious problems when not disposed of properly. If you have goldfish that no longer have a place in your home, discuss it with animal control. Dumping or flushing your unwanted pets can cause disturbances throughout the area you live in. So, save your lakes and rivers and don’t flush the fish!



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