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Massive goldfish invasion takes over Colorado lake

BOULDER, Colo. - Colorado Parks and Wildlife rangers are deciding what to do with an exotic fish threatening to take over a lake in Boulder County.

Wildlife officials say in the last couple years someone went to the water's edge of Boulder's Teller Lake No. 5 and dropped a few goldfish in the water. It's something that may seem tempting, but can be dangerous, as those few fish have now spawned into thousands.

On Tuesday it was a day of fishing for Bob Sharp and his two grandsons.

"It's something that I've always enjoyed, my dad did it with me," Sharp told CBS Denver's Mark Taylor.

All were hoping for a decent catch of the day.

"Crappies, blue gill," Sharp said.

But for every one of those, they found countless goldfish.

"I was totally shocked at how many goldfish there was," Sharp said.

Thousands of goldfish line the shoreline, and it's a species that shouldn't be there. Colorado Parks and Wildlife says they've got to go.

"We've got a serious problem out there," Jennifer Churchill with Colorado Parks and Wildlife said.

Churchill says it likely started with just a few fish a couple years ago, but now there may be as many as 4,000. And they're doing damage.

"These things wind end up downstream, they can introduce disease to the environment," Churchill said. "They can outcompete our native fish."

Removal options range from draining the lake and starting over, to electroshock.

"What everyone can latch on to is that we want to have healthy water in Colorado," Churchill said.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is working with Boulder County to decide what to do next. They advise people to get rid of their pets, especially fish, properly. Anyone with questions should call animal control.

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