Msg 1 Posted: 03:43 PM 07/14/06 (CST)
AP) Worthington, Minn. Four young anglers had the catch of a lifetime this week. But it wasn't a trophy walleye or a lunker bass -- it was a piranha. |
On Monday, after having no luck at Lake Okabena, the boys hit up a nearby drainage ditch where they spotted a curious-looking fish in the shallows.
"I thought at first it was a blue gill," said 12-year-old Kenneth McCloskey.
William Somphanthabansouk, 9, decided to grab it with his hands.
"It tried to swim away," Somphanthabansouk said, "but I got it."
Somphanthabansouk stowed the mystery fish in his backpack, and the two boys -- along with Kenneth's brother Savior, 14, and their friend Jay Syhavong, 11 -- headed to the library do some research. By comparing piranha photos with their sharp-toothed fish, they found a match.
Department of Natural Resources are manager Bob Davis concurs.
"It sure looks like a piranha," Davis said after seeing a photo. "That is likely what it is."
Davis said the DNR gets reports of exotic fish in Minnesota waters several times a year.
"People, for whatever reason, dump their aquarium fish," he said. "They don't want to kill them, so they throw them in the lake."
Tropical fish released into Minnesota lakes and rivers do not live through the winter.
The fish caught by the four boys seems to be a type of red bellied piranha, one of the most widespread species of piranha in nature and the most common species in pet stores.
"It's definitely a tropical South American fish," Davis said. "Definitely not native."
The kid grabbed it with his hands
Catch-n Pro Staff
Just North Pro Staff