Aquatic Invasive Species: Part 2

Nature Academy

Another aquatic invasive species that we see a lot in our parks is pets. The problem is that some people have pet goldfish or turtles that get too big for their tanks, or they just don’t want to care for them anymore. These people think that dumping these animals into the nearest body of water is a great idea: They are saving their kids’ pet by releasing it back into the wild! Sounds like a good deed, right? Wrong.

Dumping pets can change the native populations of other aquatic organisms. It can even turn your favorite fishing spot into a not-so-good spot and a breeding ground for aquatic invasive species. This has happened at Farbach-Werner Nature Preserve, which is now infested with pet goldfish. Triple Creek is another location where pet turtles and fish are constantly dumped “back into the wild.”

So what can you do about this problem? If you have a pet you no longer want, try selling it to a pet store, trading it with someone else or giving it away. If you see someone at one of the parks dumping their pets into a body of water, stop them and explain to them that they are doing more harm than good or call the Park Rangers at 513-825-2280.

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Nick Mercer, Stewardship Technician