Reasons Why You Should Never Flush a Goldfish

    You may have heard of people flushing unwanted or dead fish in their toilets, or you might even be guilty of doing this yourself!  While it may not seem like a big deal to anyone but the fish, there are actually ecological and economic ramifications you should be aware of.

    Not only can flushing a single little fish cost end up costing you thousands of dollars, but it can also destroy the local ecology system.  Sounds pretty incredible, huh?  We’ll explain how this can happen.

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    Cassie Anderson | Facebook

    One Little Fish Can Turn Into a Helluva Big Fish

    The thing about goldfish is that although they’re pretty small when you see them in pet stores, they have the ability to become really giant if given the time and space to do so.  Even worse, goldfish happen to be one of the world’s most invasive species!

    This is because when they’re released into the wild, they feed on crustaceans, insects, plants and even other fish – which depletes the resources that local species need in order to survive.  They also reproduce at a very rapid rate, which can quickly result in overpopulation.

    Proof Positive

    A gal in Kentucky recently produced proof of how very gigantic a released goldfish can become by posting this photo of her brother on Facebook.  She had the following caption:

    “What you are witnessing is NOT national geographic!  It is not a stolen image or an edited photo!  This is my brother!!  Who is holding what could possibly be… that pet goldfish we flushed when I was 9!!!  …I swear, I thought you were dead bubbles!!! lol lol  Caught in danville ky y’all!!  Oh my gosh don’t flush your pets!”

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    Cassie Anderson | Facebook

    Her brother, Hunter, further clarified to USA TODAY that the image, in fact, is not fake.  While he and his sister believe that this is a goldfish, Kevin Kelly, a spokesman for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife resources, had another thought.

    He believes that the fish in the photograph might actually be a butterfly koi, which is yet another species that is often flushed or released into the wild while they’re very small.

    How a .20 Cent Fish Can Become a $150,000 Fish

    Still, ordinary goldfish are still a huge issue.  Randy Osborne, a fisheries biologist stated that the goldish population has seriously exploded and has affected the local trout population.  He had this to say about people who dump or flush their unwanted fish:

    “If they get caught doing that and get prosecuted, they could be responsible for the restitution of fixing the problem that they created.”, with costs possibly being as high as $150,000, which would be the amount necessary to rehab the entire lake.