When you think of a goldfish, a cute, tiny fish swimming in its bowl probably comes to mind. But, then again, you've probably never seen a photo of The Carrot. This oversized goldfish weighs over 67 pounds, which is about the same weight as a 10-year-old child. Of course, at that weight, The Carrot most certainly isn't living in a fishbowl. Instead, she's been roaming the waters of Bluewater Lakes in Champagne, France, for the past 20 years. But how did she get there?
The Carrot, who is a hybrid leather carp and koi carp, was actually introduced into the waters by a fishery when she was young. The incredible growth of The Carrot is a reminder that these hardy fish can grow to incredible sizes if put into open water. Intended as an attraction for fishermen coming to the lake, the giant goldfish has gained new attention thanks to British angler Andy Hackett.
The avid fisherman spent 25 minutes wrangling The Carrot before he was able to catch her. After grabbing a few photos, he released her into the water. While other large goldfish have been caught in the past, The Carrot's hefty weight makes her the largest goldfish in the world. In fact, the French fish is over 30 pounds heavier than the previous titleholder, which was caught in Minnesota in 2019.
So why do these fish grow so large? Goldfish are a member of the carp family and, throughout history, have been selectively bred. That's why there is such a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors with goldfish. They are a generalist species, which means that they have the ability to adapt and thrive in different environments. By using whatever resources available to feed, breed, and avoid predators, they tend to have long life spans. This also accounts for their success in open waters.
In fact, goldfish are considered an invasive species in North America. In 2021, authorities in Minnesota asked people not to dump their pets into lakes and local waterways. They reminded the public that “they grow bigger than you think and contribute to poor water quality by mucking up the bottom sediments and uprooting plants.”
Officials in Minnesota's Carver County actually removed about 50,000 goldfish from local waters in 2020. The fish were most likely dumped by pet owners and were outcompeting local species for food and shelter.
So, while The Carrot may look impressive, this giant goldfish is also a reminder that it's never a good idea to introduce a non-native species into any ecosystem. While it may seem harmless, the effects can be more harmful than you may realize.
An angler recently took photos with the world's largest goldfish, which weighs over 67 pounds.
Goldfish can grow quite large and become invasive, so it's important not to dump your pets in local waterways.
Please don't release your pet goldfish into ponds and lakes! They grow bigger than you think and contribute to poor water quality by mucking up the bottom sediments and uprooting plants.
Groups of these large goldfish were recently found in Keller Lake. pic.twitter.com/Zmya2Ql1E2
— City of Burnsville (@BurnsvilleMN) July 9, 2021
h/t: [IFL Science!]