Story at a glance

  • “They grow bigger than you think and contribute to poor water quality,” officials said.
  • Officials in nearby Carver County last year removed as many as 50,000 goldfish from local waterways in a single day.
  • Goldfish affect lakes much like carp, stirring up sediments, uprooting plants and competing with native fish for food and shelter.

Officials in Minnesota are urging people to stop discarding unwanted goldfish in lakes or ponds, warning that the common house pets can grow massive in size and wreak havoc on local ecosystems. 

The city of Burnsville, Minn., which is about 17 miles south of Minneapolis, shared photos Friday via Twitter showing massive goldfish recently discovered in a local lake. 

In a Facebook post, the city said it partnered with nearby city Apple Valley, as well as Carp Solutions, a company that specializes in managing invasive carp species, to conduct a survey of Keller Lake to assess populations of invasive goldfish. The survey began after residents complained of infestations.  


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“Instead of releasing your pet goldfish in a local lake or pond, please consider other options for finding them a new home like asking a responsible friend or neighbor to care for it,” the city wrote. 

Officials in nearby Carver County last year removed as many as 50,000 goldfish from local waterways in a single day. Officials said the most likely reason for the large number of goldfish was people illegally dumping their pets over the years. 

Goldfish affect lakes much like carp, stirring up sediments, uprooting plants while they feed and competing with native fish for food and shelter. The invasive species reproduces rapidly and can live to be 25 years old. 


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Published on Jul 12, 2021