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Why This Little Town Has Declared War on Goldfish

As far as predators go, goldfish aren't the most threatening. But when unleashed, they can be a deadly villain. Richfield, Minnesota, learned the hard way.

As far as predators go, goldfish are not the most threatening. They’re pretty small, slippery and often constrained in glass bowls, where their evil fizzles out. But when unleashed, they can be a deadly, deadly villain.


It’s not that the fish themselves are evil (as far as we can tell, they’re not), but their biological footprint is pretty sinister.


Welcome to Richfield, Minnesota, home of the Wood Lake Nature Center, a beautiful reserve home to cranes, cattails and thousands of invasive giant goldfish, the Star Tribune reports.


Think sharknado, except a little more subdued and orange.



Ever since they were introduced to the reserve by well-meaning aquarists who decided to abandon their pets either as a humane disposal mechanism or in the name of fish liberation, the species have drastically diminished the populations of local fish.

Invasive goldfish in California. Photo Credit: Flickr, California Department of Fish and Wildlife


Local teachers that study the biodiversity of the marsh used to see over a dozen different organisms in any given sample. Now, that number is down to three at best.

So, in the only logical response, the town of Richfield has declared war on wild goldfish.


The territorial residents will use every last cent of a $5,500 grant to slash through the goldfish population in Wood Lake, if not exterminate it completely.


Though the local birds do eat these fish regularly, their appetites are simply not enough to staunch the swarm of golden little fins that just don’t belong there.

Not only are the goldfish invading a home that’s not theirs; they’re also stinking it up. Goldfish produce proportionally huge amounts of waste. And in a small pond that can build up to a stinky goo that coats the surface of the pond.

So remember: Don’t dump your Mr. Bubbles in a lake somewhere, because he’ll cause a huge ruckus. And if your small town has a goldfish problem, have you considered a declaration of war?



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Illustration by Fabio Manucci

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