Goldfish are a regulated invasive species in Minnesota, meaning you can buy, sell and transport them, but can’t release them in public waters.
BURNSVILLE, Minn. — You’ll want to think twice before dumping that county fair goldfish you won into a nearby stream or pond.
The City of Burnsville tweeted out some pretty shocking photos Friday morning, of massive, overgrown goldfish found in Keller Lake.
“Please don’t release your pet goldfish into ponds and lakes! They grow bigger than you think and contribute to poor water quality by mucking up the bottom sediments and uprooting plants,” read the post.
It might seem harmless to release your unwanted pet goldfish into a nearby waterway, but you could end up doing serious harm to the local ecosystem.
According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, goldfish are considered a regulated invasive species, meaning you can buy, sell and transport them, but you can’t release them in public waters.
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Because they’re part of the minnow family, goldfish can easily work their way through city stormwater ponds and into lakes and streams, according to the DNR. They can rapidly reproduce and survive harsh conditions, creating headaches for the municipalities that have to invest in their removal.
Giant goldfish found in Burnsville lake
If you really want to dispose of your goldfish or other animals that are invasive in Minnesota, the DNR recommends finding another owner or reaching out to a veterinarian or pet retailer for guidance on humane disposal.
If you see something you believe is an invasive species, take a photo and note the exact location before contacting a local DNR specialist or fisheries office.