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More tropical fish found in River Ness


By Louise Glen

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Chris Conroy of Ness District Salmon Fishery Board with the Silver Dollar fish.
Chris Conroy of Ness District Salmon Fishery Board with the Silver Dollar fish.

Concerns are begin raised after more non-native tropical fish were found in the River Ness in Inverness.

The Ness District Salmon Fishery Board made an investigation of the river yesterday evening – only to discover what it believes to be an Amazonian Silver Dollar.

On Monday, the group had reported that two tropical fish identified as Jaguar cichlid had been found in the river.

A Silver Dollar next to a juvenile salmon caught in the River Ness.
A Silver Dollar next to a juvenile salmon caught in the River Ness.

The group has warned against anyone putting tropical fish into the water.

The spokesman for the group said: "Following our report of non-native cichlid fish found in the River Ness yesterday, we headed out this evening to check for any more.

"We captured the expected juvenile Atlantic salmon, trout and eels as we worked upstream, before noticing what we initially thought was a large flounder. When scooped up with a hand net we saw what looks like piranha – we were shocked to say the least."

Efforts were made to look for non-native fish in the river.
Efforts were made to look for non-native fish in the river.

Saying the fish was an aggressive predator with extremely sharp teeth, he continued: "Luckily for us this individual was already dead and had been so for a little while. After a further search of the area we found what we believe to be another dead Jaguar cichlid of the type recovered last night."

Silver Dollar Fish, Metynnis argenteus, get their name from the way they look. They are large silvery fish from the South American rivers. They belong to the Characidae family, the same family as Piranha and Pacus.

The spokesman continued: "It seems clear that someone has released these fish from an aquarium into the River Ness. Any release of non-native species into the wild is extremely irresponsible and could have significant negative impacts on our native fish stocks.

"The species found to date are all native to the warm climate of Central America and so had little to no chance of surviving in the cold waters of the River Ness. They could however pose a significant disease risk."

Related story: Tropical fish found in River Ness may have been discarded by owners

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