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I just made a (bad) joke in another thread about getting rid of the fish you don't want by tossing them in a canal. I hope that everyone understands this is a terrible idea. Many people think this is a humane way to get rid of their animals, but it is actually one of the worst things you can do. Most times the fish will die from disease, predation, weather changes or inability to compete for food. Even worse, they may find a mate and throw the eco-system out of wack.

I live close to Lake Ontario. We've seen many problems over the years from invasive species. Usually these come from the ballasts of ships that come through, but in warmer areas it can happen from hobbyists making poor choices.

Some of the Lake Ontario problems are:

Zebra Mussels- These guys attach to anything hard they can find. Even the shells of native mussels. They are tremendous filter feeders and have become serious competition for local wildlife.

Goby- These guys are eating machines. Strong competition for native sports fish and rapidly breeding.

Sea Lamprey- Nasty combination of an eel and a leach. Has strong teeth lines mouth that lets out an anticoagulant so the fish won't stop bleeding. It is estimated that only 1 in 7 fish survive a lamprey attack.

Ruffe- Ugly Perch relative that has exploded in population and caused compition for food. A female can lay up to 90,000 eggs per year.

White Perch- Probably introduced as a sport/food fish. Rapid growth is believed to contribute to decline of Walleye populations.

Common Carp- Probably a problem in every large body of water in the country.

Rusty Crayfish- Probably introduced as bait for smallmouth bass. They really destroy plant life and disrupt the habitat of bait fish. Also competes with native crayfish and has caused their population decline.

Spiny Water Flea- small crustacean that attaches to fish. Females have about 10 babies a week. The effect of their expanding population hasn't really been studied yet.

This is by no means a complete list, just the ones that are causing my area the most problems. I imagine the warmer parts of the country have even bigger problems. I've heard many stories of Cichlids thriving in Florida and Texas.

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I guess this is just my long winded way of saying that we need to get rid of unwanted critters in a safe way.
 

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fishboydanny
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I've heard many stories of Cichlids thriving in Florida and Texas.
too, too true!!! salvini, midas, devils, mayan, black acara, tilapia, etc, etc, etc!
 

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Reefer, Plants and Ponds
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270 Posts
Don't forget the lionfish now living and breeding off North Carolina.
 

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Over here in Europe, the native Noble Crayfish (Astacus astacus) has practically been eradicated by American crays that were introduced as food crays - and carry crayfish plague (but only rarely get infected themselves)...

Pity.

Cheers
Ulli
 
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