Pacu Found In New Jersey Lake

Fishermen caught a South American fish in United States’ waters.

Pacu are becoming common in fishing lakes throughout the United States. Photo by Omnitarian/Wikipedia

What was probably a routine fishing excursion turned anything but when Ron and Frank Rossi, a father/son fishing team out of New Jersey, caught a pacu (Colossoma macropomum) at Swedes Lake. The pacu is a relative of the piranha, which is what the fishing duo initially thought the fish was. However, after doing some Internet research and checking out the fish’s teeth, the pair discovered it was in fact the omnivorous pacu, Action News reports.

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The find has people wondering how the South American fish ended up in New Jersey in a man-made lake. State officials believe people are purchasing pacu for their home aquariums, discovering that they get too large, then dumping them in the lake, Action News reports. The Department of Environmental Protection sent this statement to Action News: “Many times, these fish are deposited into lakes by pet owners. These fish do not survive in colder water, so we encourage people not to release it into the wild but to humanely destroy the fish.”

The Rossis are planning on following the suggestion, though they fear there are more pacu in the lake.

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Fish · Lifestyle