by Angling Times |

PIRANHAS are usually found in the tropical waters of the Amazon so you can imagine the look on the faces of fishery scientists when they netted this toothy critter in the River Ness!

The 19cm-long fish, a close relative of the ‘silver dollar’ piranha species, was discovered by staff from the Ness District Salmon Fisheries Board (NDSFB) after Inverness Angling Club members reported seeing several unusual species in the river.

Over a two-day period, officials electrofished the area and also found three native-African cichlid fish.

A spokesperson for the NDSFB said:

“We captured the expected juvenile Atlantic salmon, trout and eels before noticing what we initially thought was a large flounder. When we scooped it up with a hand net we saw what looked like a piranha, which was shocking to say the least.

“It seems that someone has released these fish from an aquarium into the Ness, but they had little to no chance of surviving in the cold water. Releasing non-native species into the wild can have significant negative impacts on our native fish stocks as they pose a significant disease risk.”

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