Not all is golden in Reno. Well, it is but not the good kind. Biologists are worried that Lake Tahoe is becoming overrun by goldfish.
The abandoned pets first started showing up in the lake’s pristine water in the 1990s. In 2011, biologists discovered evidence that the eight-for-a-dollar fish down at the Wal-Mart species were adapting to the lake: They caught a 14.2-inch, 3.4-pound specimen, and many more gargantuan golds have been discovered since.
Although pretty, goldfish are extremely destructive. The Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit’s Website states that, goldfish “strip waters of oxygen-producing plants which increases water temperatures and destroys habitat for native juvenile fish.” Additionally, goldfish feces creates a near-shore algae that reduces water clarity. Goldfish also compete with native species for food.
University of Nevada, Reno biologists announced Thursday that they will conduct research in May to understand just how bad the goldfish problem has become.
Have you caught a goldfish in Lake Tahoe? In your favorite fishing spot? I occasionally see them while spearfishing down at Lake Amistad on the Texas-Mexico border.