People dumped their pets into lakes, officials say. Now football-size goldfish are taking over.

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

The invasion begins innocently enough: A goldfish paddles the secluded waters of an at-home aquarium, minding its own business, disturbing no native habitats.

The real trouble comes later, when the human who put it there decides it’s time for a change. Not wanting to hurt the fish, but not wanting to keep it either, the pet’s owner decides to release it into a local lake, pond or waterway. That decision, experts say, is well-meaning but misguided — and potentially harmful.

Officials in Burnsville, a city about 15 miles south of Minneapolis, demonstrated why late last week, when they shared photographs of several massive goldfish that were recovered from a local lake. The discarded pets can swell and wreak havoc, the city warned.

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