New non-native fish found at Lake Tahoe

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Updated: 7/11/2014 6:50 pm
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. ( & KRNV) -- Super-sized goldfish have already found their way into Tahoe. Now, aquarium dumping at the lake adds another fish to its already dangerous history.

A plecostomus fish was found off Griff Creek in Kings Beach last week. It is known as an algae-eating aquarium fish foreign to the lake.

UNR Department of Biology research faculty member Christine Ryan said the fish came from someone’s aquarium. "Trying to save the life of one fish, but potentially disrupting the balance of a whole ecosystem."

Ryan said Tahoe is seeing an increase in non-native fish overpopulating the waters.

UC Davis Environmental Research Center Outreach Director Heather Segale added this is bad news for Lake Tahoe’s natural ecology. "Any change in the food web, everything is connected. When we introduce something that doesn’t belong there, it can have really harmful effects."

The plecostomus found poses little threat to the lake, because it needs a partner to procreate and is unlikely to find another fish like it.

So far, 50,000 non-native fish have been removed form Tahoe through mechanical removal electroshocking.
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