A young angler, Charlie Clinton, got an unusual bite while fishing in a neighborhood pond over the weekend, reeling in a South American Pacu – a close relative of the Piranha.
According to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC), Pacu have been caught in a few fisheries in Oklahoma before.
“Non-native Pacu in Oklahoma waters are most likely the result of individuals buying them as pets, and releasing them when they outgrow their tank. These fish are generally harmless to humans, but the practice of dumping unwanted pets in waterways can be incredibly harmful to native wildlife.”
Pacu can reach sizes up to 3.5 feet and 88 pounds.
The ODWC said the exotic, invasive species can cause damage to local ecosystems and anglers who catch Pacu in Oklahoma are asked to remove them from the watershed and contact their local game warden.
“As for Charlie, we’re told you can find him back at the pond on the grind for his next great catch. We wish you luck and tight lines, Charlie!”