Illegal fish dumped in lake to be used to feed other wildlife

Fish being used to help other wildlife

BOULDER, Colo. - Some unwanted fish are swimming around a lake in Boulder.  

The Colorado Parks and Wildlife says someone illegally dumped Koi fish into Thunderbird Lake at Admiral Arleigh A. Burk Park, and now they are multiplying at a rapid rate.  

"We already tested the water and in about 7 minutes, we came up with about a hundred or so fish," explains Jennifer Churchill, Public Information Officer for Colorado Parks and Wildlife.  

Koi are native to Asia, but have been introduced on almost every continent.  They are mainly used for domestic purposes, and according to Churchill, can have a negative impact on habitats in Colorado.

"They can introduce disease that wasn't there before.  They can out-compete the native fish and they can basically take over an entire fishery."  

They can also spread and affect other, nearby bodies of water.  "This pond is connected via other waterways.  It can overflow, and these fish can wind up downstream, and really spread this issue much farther and wider."

To prevent that from happening, employees will converge on the lake Monday morning, to take out all the Koi fish.  

They will use an electric wand to essentially stun the fish.  Once stunned, the fish will rise to the top of the water, making it easy for employees to scoop them up alive.  

They will then be put in a truck and transported to The Birds of Prey Foundation in Broomfield.  There, the Koi will be used as feed for raptors recovering from serious illness or injury.

"I think people would be pleased to see that these raptors will become healthier and be able to feed off these fish," says Churchill.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife will start collecting the Koi from Thunderbird Lake on Monday at 10 a.m.

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