There are so many ponds, rivers, and lakes. Why not put unwanted fish there? Seems kinda natural, doesn't it? And it would be - if the fish came from that body of water in the first place. However that is almost never the case. Thousands of non-indigenous species of fish are imported to the United States and other countries each year. Those fish do not belong in the local waterways.
Why? For starters the living conditions are usually less than ideal. Water temperature and other environmental factors may be too harsh for them to survive. Bacteria and parasites they aren’t normally exposed to (and therefore are not resistant to) might infest them. There may be no suitable foods for them and they will starve. Or they may become lunch for the fish and other wildlife that are native to the area. For most non-indigenous fish the odds are not favorable for a long and healthy life.
Those that do survive pose an even worse problem. Non-native fish can play havoc with the habitat. They may kill other fish and wildlife, destroy vegetation, and pass on parasites and disease. In some cases it is possible for them to breed with local fish and create destructive offspring that Mother Nature never intended to exist (and we all know the perils of fooling with Mother Nature). Considerable damage has been done to many local ecosystems by non-indigenous fish that were carelessly dumped.
Why fish should never be dumped
The summer of 2002 will be remembered in many circles for stories about the toothy, air-breathing, land-walking family of snakeheads that took up residence in a quiet pond behind a Maryland shopping center. Much like a hit horror movie there was bound to be a sequel, and in the fall of 2003 the aggressive snake returned, this time checking out the scenery in a Wisconsin river.
Mistakenly Let Go
Not accustomed to finding snakeheads swimming in their waters, authorities in Wisconsin mistook it for a local fish and let it swim merrily on it's way without so much as warning for trespassing. Later the error was discovered and a team dispatched to check out the vicinity. The snakehead had vanished, and it is hoped the visiting fish will not survive the bitterly cold Wisconsin winter.
Unfortunately, snakeheads are known for their survival skills.
They can breath air, walk short distances on dry land, and survive droughts by burrowing into the mud. That fact was once again brought to mind in 2004 when Snakeheads were found in the Potomac, and most recently near Chicago.
The repeat appearance of a snakehead, which was banned from import in 2002, is disconcerting to say the least. It is becoming increasingly apparent that despite warnings, aquarium fish owners are continuing to release unwanted fish into local waters. In most cases, the owners have no idea that their cast off fish can damage the habitat they are released into. That lack of knowledge is the very reason the problem continues to grow.
The Impact of Non-Indigenous Fish
As any cichlid enthusiast will tell you, non-indigenous fish (in other words, fish that don't belong where they are dumped) can have a devastating effect on the native fish living there.
At one time Lake Victoria was home to a thriving population of cichlids. Several hundred unique species existed there, and only there. Then the Nile perch was introduced, and quickly took over. As a result two hundred species of fish have vanished. What happened in Lake Victoria is just one example of what has happened elsewhere, and will continue to happen as long as fish are released in waters they don't orignate from.
This does seem to be the most humane option...but I have a problem with it. The alcohol. My family does not drink and we do not allow alcohol in our house for any reason...so is there an alternative substance that would be suitable after using the clove oil to knock the fish out?Here is a method that is considered to be totally humane. I've used it and found it to be very gentle and easy for the fish.
We lost a lot when the tread was closed.. I take most of the blame, meanings can sometimes be distorted.. and the way something is said in the US, can be taken a different way in Australia, and vice verser. Guess I should have let it slide ( in hindsight ).Anesthetic overdose.
I want to throw one note in here.
No arguing about euthanasia methods, please. We've closed one thread of that nature already, and don't need to do it again. If someone posts something particularly insensitive, please report it and the mods will take a look at it. However, if you just don't like a particular method (there are several of the methods that I would consider cruel, for example), let it be. No need to bring up more bad blood about this.
This does not apply to people asking questions, of course. If they genuinely want to know about something, like Parvath asking about releasing fish into the wild, it's entirely fine to answer.