The Carver County Water Management Organization found an infestation of goldfish at Big Woods Lake in Chaska last week while doing routine monitoring. The invasive goldfish have also spread to other lakes which are part of the Grace Chain of Lakes in Carver County, according to Madeline Seveland with the Carver County Water Management organization.

Goldfish are a type of carp originally from Asia, not native to Minnesota, and cause a serious problem for water quality because they harm the water quality by feeding along the lake floor, disrupting plants and stirring up sediment that releases phosphorus into the water which can cause algae blooms. They also compete with native species for food and have very few natural predators.

It’s unknown how the goldfish got in the Chaska lakes, but officials believe the most likely scenario is that people illegally dumped their pet goldfish they no longer wanted into the lakes.

Removing a live fish from a Minnesota lake is also illegal without a permit and a fishing license is not a permit to transport live fish.

The Minnesota Aquarium Society hosts “surrender events” where anyone can drop off any fish that is no longer wanted for MAS to find it a home. The next surrender event will be held on Saturday, April 27.

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