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I saw this on the Lancaster Eagle Gazette Web Site,
Here's a link to the article:

http://www.lancastereaglegazette.co...ckeye-Lake?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|Frontpage

BUCKEYE LAKE -- Michael Cline was fishing Tuesday night when he felt the familiar tug on his line.

But the fish he pulled out of Buckeye Lake was anything but ordinary.

"I thought it was a carp," Cline said. "But when we pulled it out of the net, we determined it was no carp. It was like no fish I'd ever seen."

The 17.5-inch fish had very large teeth, Cline said.

"My wife took one look at it and said, 'That's a piranha,'" he said.

Concerned a carnivorous fish could be living in the water, Cline, of Buckeye Lake, contacted the Ohio Division of Wildlife.

But after speaking with officials Wednesday, Cline learned the fish was not a piranha but a pacu -- a South American fish that eats mostly plants.

"They are actually a strictly vegetarian fish," said Nick Radabaugh, fisheries biologist for the Ohio Division of Wildlife. "They eat seeds, fruit and nuts that fall into the water."

Pacus are common aquarium fish. When they get too big, sometimes their owners will release them into lakes or ponds.

"We usually get about one or two calls a year from someone who caught a pacu or a piranha," Radabaugh said.

Because they are used to warmer temperatures, pacus don't live long in Ohio waters, he said.

"They are physically unable to survive," he said. "When the water temperatures drops in the fall, they just die."

Cline said he was glad the fish was not dangerous.

"There are a lot of people swimming in (Buckeye Lake)," he said. "That was our main concern."

The fish caused quite a stir Tuesday night. A group of 30 people gathered to look at the pacu and Buckeye Lake Police stopped by to check out the fish, he said.

Because it had been out of the water too long, the pacu did not survive.

"Hopefully I'll never catch another one," Cline said. "But it was quite interesting. I've never seen that type of fish before."

Radabaugh cautioned pet owners it is illegal to release fish into public bodies of water. It could damage the ecosystem or create invasive species.

If fishermen catch a strange fish, they should not release it back into the water.

"Call us first," he said. "We can tell them what they are looking at and what to do about it."
 

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Some guy on the now defunct river smallies caught a huge (nearly certain state record) pacu in michigan a few years ago.
 

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Why was my earlier post deleted?

There was one shot while bowfishing up in Mich a few weeks back

 

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I'll have a pacu taco pacu taco pacu taco pacu taco...
 

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When I was a kid, I caught an oscar cichlid from a neighborhood pond on a nightcrawler. Someone obviously let it go in the pond. It surely didn't make it past late September as these come from south american and want the water at least 74 degrees!
 

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I know they completely mess up the ecosystem, but it would be nice if someone dropped a payara or a peacock bass in my development pond.
 

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what about those tiger fish, out of the congo river? someparts the water gets 45 degrees. and they taste good they say. those things would be more fun to catch than muskie.
 

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I know they completely mess up the ecosystem, but it would be nice if someone dropped a payara or a peacock bass in my development pond.
Peacock bass are south american cichlids-they would not survive the winter. You can catch a variety of exotics including peacocks in some of the canals in southern florida though.

Want to catch a huge exotic fish? Try carp fishing! They are technically exotics although you wouldn't know it as they are in just about every body of water across the country.
 

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When I was a kid, I caught an oscar cichlid from a neighborhood pond on a nightcrawler. Someone obviously let it go in the pond. It surely didn't make it past late September as these come from south american and want the water at least 74 degrees!
Not necessarily true! There where 2 Red Belly Piranhas caught in Mich. while ice fishing at lake Gull
 

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Not necessarily true! There where 2 Red Belly Piranhas caught in Mich. while ice fishing at lake Gull
Respectfully, this is urban folklore. I think legend has it the lake was gun lake", not gull lake. There is a well-publicized piranha catch out of the Grand River in michigan just recently (found in a google search.). I can't think of a tropical fish that would survive Michigan winter water temps unless there was a power plant keeping some of the water above 70.
 

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Have seen a few beached whales on cj this past summer and now one said anything about them? :)
 

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Respectfully, this is urban folklore. I think legend has it the lake was gun lake", not gull lake. There is a well-publicized piranha catch out of the Grand River in michigan just recently (found in a google search.). I cank( think of a tropical fish that would survive Michigan winter water temps unless there was a power plant keeping some of the water above 70.
No it was Gull lake Northeast of Kalamazoo
 

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:p
No it was Gull lake Northeast of Kalamazoo
You are right....piranha have been caught in Gull Lake as we'll. However, not in the winter! If I'm wrong about piranha being able to survive 30-40 deg water, I wil gladly eat my crow but this defies everything I've ever read/learned about the tropical south american fish in my time on this earth.
 

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only if it was an arapaima, and in my neighborhood pond haha.
 

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"There are a lot of people swimming in (Buckeye Lake)," he said. "That was our main concern."
Good thing that threat to the swimmers was thwarted. We wouldn't want any fish with teeth swimming in our Ohio waters.:D I found that statement a bit funny. The saugeye in the lake would present more of a threat given their size (not that they are any threat either). I don't think anyone needs to worry about an attack by a pacu or piranha. Perhaps people have seen too many movies.;)

Don't get me wrong. I still think the fish should be removed and that whoever dumps them in a lake should be held liable because of the risk to the ecosystem. People do not think of the possible implications of releasing a fish.
 
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