April 17, 2021

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Invasive South American fish regarded as the ‘vegetarian piranha’ identified in Tennessee | Nationwide

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A Tennessee fisherman’s suspicions that he caught a thing extraordinary were being verified over the weekend when condition officers determined the fish was a South American pacu, a species relevant to the famously vicious piranha.

A person significant variation, on the other hand: Pacu are vegetarians, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency noted.

“The pacu is usually identified as the ‘vegetarian piranha.'” the company reported in a Fb publish. “Will not enable their teeth freak you out, pacu are vegetarians and will not eat meat.

“Pacu have teeth that appear pretty comparable to human tooth. They have two sets of blunt molars that are used for cracking nuts and grinding up plants.”

Pacu are not considered damaging to humans, but are an invasive species that can “overrun the waters they occupy,” state officials explained.

Fisherman Randall Adams caught the pacu a short while ago in Rony Pond, a physique of h2o inside the John Tully Wildlife Administration Region alongside the Mississippi River. A photo of the fish was shared by the point out on Facebook, demonstrating the dingy colored fish was flat-bodied, with fins on its back again and stomach.

Pacu improve up to 42 inches in length and can weigh as much as 97 lbs relying on the species, condition officers claimed. They are “mouth watering” and generally served in eating places in South The us, officers extra.

“How did it get into Rony Pond? Pacu are acceptable for residence aquariums, but increase quickly and can live for 15-25 many years. So the odds are the fish outgrew its aquarium, and a person relocated the fish to Rony Pond,” condition officials wrote on Facebook.

“It really is illegal to relocate or inventory fish. Unlawful stockings are just one-way unique species are introduced to waters and can damage our native fish populations by way of diseases or unsafe viruses.”

Investigators suspect the pacu was not long ago put in the pond, simply because the species can’t endure in winter season temperatures under 58 degrees.

This is not the to start with time a pacu has been caught in southern waters. The Mississippi Division of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks documented on Fb that just one measuring 15 inches extended was caught in Issaquena County’s Metal Bayou in 2012.

Angler Maxine Smith of Mayersville instructed point out officers the fish was surprisingly solid. “All of a unexpected I hooked a fish that almost snatched me into the water,” Smith was quoted stating. “At to start with, I thought it was a large shad or a buffalo, but then I saw the tooth!”

(c)2020 The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.)

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