Stop Dumping Your Pet Goldfish Into Lakes

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Stop Dumping Your Pet Goldfish Into Lakes
An official holding a goldfish found in Burnsville's Keller Lake.
Photo: City of Burnsville, Minnesota

It’s a common story: A family gets a goldfish, but then their kid tires of it—maybe soccer, guitar lessons, or schoolwork start taking priority. The family wants to get rid of the fish but doesn’t want to hurt it, so they release it into a local waterway or flush it down the toilet. A well-intentioned move, sure, but it’s causing ecological problems.


Last week, officials from Burnsville, a Minnesota town just south of Minneapolis, urged residents to stop dumping pet goldfish into ponds and lakes.

“They grow bigger than you think and contribute to poor water quality by mucking up the bottom sediments and uprooting plants,” the town’s official account tweeted. “Groups of these large goldfish were recently found in Keller Lake.”

They included photos of some of the fish they’d found in the lake, and bigger than you think is right.