Piranhas found in Westwood Lake likely unwanted pets, conservation officers say

It’s against the law to introduce aquatic invasive species in B.C.

B.C. conservation officers say a piranha, shown in a handout photo, reeled in by a fisherman in a Vancouver Island lake last week was likely someone’s unwanted pet. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Government of British Columbia

B.C. conservation officers say two piranhas found in Westwood Lake were likely unwanted pets.

One red-bellied piranha was reeled in by an angler last week. Another was caught in the same lake during the summer.

The Conservation Officer Service says in a Facebook post that the tropical fish with sharp teeth can’t survive winter climates.

The service says introducing aquatic invasive species can have harmful effects, including threatening native fish, ecosystems and other species.

KEEP READING: Nanaimo anglers wonder if any more piranhas are biting

It adds that it’s illegal and a conviction for a first offence could result in a fine of up to $100,000 and a prison term of up to one year.

The Canadian Press

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