Piranhas in Basil Griffin Park

By: Ashley Davidson
By: Ashley Davidson

When people fish at Basil Griffin Park they expect to come upon fish like these. Not like these.

"They look like piranhas."

They are indeed piranhas. They were caught by a fisherman Tuesday at the park. Piranhas are a non-native fish in Kentucky and are carnivorous.

"Generally they'll eat small fish for food. But they'll also eat other items as well."

According to Eric Cummins with the Department of Fisheries, this isn't the first time they've been caught here.

"We've had those reports, and it's typical. Maybe once a summer, twice a summer about those kinds of things."

Cummins says shocking the lake at Basil Griffin is an option if reports keep coming in, but he doesn't think that will happen.

"Likely not. When we shock it, we only scratch the surface, so we'd be kind of looking for a needle in a haystack."

Cummins said there is no need for alarm about the flesh-eating fish.

"Piranhas get a bad rap from movies and media about being voracious. Under very extreme conditions would they maybe exhibit that behavior."

They will not be able to survive the winter. According to Cummins, even if they do reproduce, all the piranhas will die once the temperatures get colder.

One of the piranhas measured 17 and the other 16 inches long. Those are the largest they've found at Basil Griffin Park. It is illegal to dump non-native fish in public waters. The Department of Fisheries recommends you take a pet piranha to a pet store or euthanize it if you're looking to get rid of it.

To learn more about piranhas, visit this site: http://www.junglephotos.com/animals/fishes/piranhas.html

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