A woman in Michigan recently reeled in a Red Bellied Pacu out of Lake St. Clair. This was a 2 pound 15 inch specimen of a fish that can run to 55 pounds. Native to the tropics it is assumed that this was an aquarium specimen turned loose. But Michigan is averaging close to one a year in reported landings of this fish. Could it be surviving in the colder waters of Michigan? Its a lot warmer in Florida ,Texas, and Louisiana where landing are more common and the fish larger. Incredibly not only is this species allowed into the U.S. as part of the aquarium trade but in the deep south it has been used in pond culture.
Now are you familiar with any small land locked lakes and ponds near you that have game fish populations but have never been artificially stocked? Ever wonder how those fish populations got in those ponds and lakes? Well one method of propagation, and probably not the only one is the avian air lift. Wading birds pick up fish eggs in the slime or mud on their feet. The eggs survive a short flight to the next water body and a species is introduced. And we still allow outdoor pond culture of potentially invasive species. Really this is just another example of America's inability to control our own borders. Lack of adult supervision in the federal government is not limited to Congress or the White House. Many of our federal agencies are lacking in common sense as well. One bright spot, in the tropics this fish is considered excellent eating. So like the lion fish and maybe the carp we could develop a market if they get out of hand. But we simply can not eat our way through all of the invasive species pouring through our borders any more than we can employ or put on welfare all of the two legged aliens pouring in.