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goldfish from lake Tahoe
  • Native to Asia

  • Introduced as a food item and to control insects

Goldfish in Saddle Lake

(Carassius auratus)

Goldfish can grow to be anywhere from 10 to 40 cm long.  Goldfish have an elongated, stocky body. Not all individuals have the well-known bright gold color.  Wild populations vary in color from gold to olive green or even creamy white. It possesses a long dorsal fin with 15 to 21 rays and a hard serrate spine at the origin of the dorsal and anal fins. The lateral line is complete, with 25–31 scales in a lateral series. It can be distinguished from other Asian cyprinids by the presence of a stiff, serrate spine at the origin of the dorsal and anal fins.

Goldfish are aggressive predators.  Saddle Lake is a breeding ground for tiger salamanders.  The population decline in the salamanders is likely due to the introduction of goldfish to the lake. Goldfish eat anything, including tadpoles and salamander eggs therefore impacting the salamander population. They can also out-compete native fish for food.

Never dump your aquarium contents into any outside water source including rivers, lakes, streams, wetlands, ditches or storm drains.  Do not flush live fish down the toilet.  If you no longer want your fish please return them to where you bought them or find them a home with a friend.

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