We have seen the spread of invasive' s such as zebra muscles, or milfoil, but there is another invasive that humans spread, and it usually starts as your pet. Goldfish released into the wild can pose a threat to native species.
Garrett Kunz, a MN Seagrant Production Artist told me, "They have different habits than the local fish. So they like to muck up the water and that can actually raise the temperature of the water so Native fish are not going to be as uncomfortable in this kind of water. "
This especially effects sensitive fish like trout. But there are other concerns about these non–native pets.
Kunz says, "They may carry viruses or pathogens that may be harmful for local fish."
The fish you are hoping to save is also more susceptible to viruses and pathogens in the wild. Introduction of non–native fish also disrupts the food chain.
"Invasive species are taking food from those native fish, that we really love to fish so much. Nobody wants to be catching goldfish, they would rather catch the salmon or the trout obviously. " says Kunz.
Instead of letting your pet swim off into the wild, bring them to a local store, like World of Fish in Duluth.
Lisa Kamp, the Owner at World of Fish, told me "If you have a fish in your aquarium that you no longer are willing to, or able to, house absolutely bring them here we'll be happy to take them in the store. We can re–house them or just have them on site for people to view."
"You can even donate them to local schools, businesses, something that would keep them around a little longer. But just making sure that we don't release them into the wild is the biggest concern." says Kunz
And if you think that these fish won't last in the wild you may be wrong. Some Coy Fish have been known to live up to 2–hundred years!
Meteorologist Adam Lorch