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Illinois hunting and fishing

PHOTO BY RICHARD A. CHAPMAN/CHICAGO SUN-TIMES
Lorenzo Pious holds what he thought was a piranha from the Washington Park lagoon.

Pacu caught in Chicago

June 08, 2009 at 08:43 AM

A Chicago aquarium owner has apparently created yet another case of mistaken identity.

While fishing at Washington Park lagoon last Thursday, Lorenzo Pious caught what he first thought was a piranha. The 16-inch, 2.5-pound fish was actually a pacu according to Dale Bowman of the Chicago Sun-Times.

Mistaking the two species is a common error. Pacu are fruit and nut eaters while piranha have a legendary taste for meat. Both species are frequently released by aquarium owners once the fish outgrow their tank or become less enjoyable to watch. Most fish are killed by cold northern winters, though some tropical fish are able to survive in cooling lakes that are artificially warmed by water discharged from power plants.

Writes Bowman:

Frank Jakubicek, district fisheries biologist for Cook and Lake counties, said pacus are occasionally reported. Piranha sightings are rarer, though in 2005, they were found in Bangs Lake in the northwest suburbs.

Click here to read more.

 

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These and members of cichlid family are an extreme threat to the survival of North American gamefish. The tilapia have spread, like locust, to many lakes in Southern California. Aquarium owners continue to dump thousands of Oscar Ciclids into the water which compete with indiginous crappie and bluegill for food. Biologists state the main reason is, the fish “got too big and ate too much”. Dumping is a big problem coming to your area soon.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/08 at 03:33 PM

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