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Big pacu from Washington Park: No, no, no, just don’t do it


Willie Parker with a pacu from Washington Park.
Provided/Henry’s Sports and Bait

Willie Parker caught a surprise Friday at Washington Park.

Tom Palmisano at Henry’s Sports and Bait forwarded the photo, which Jason Duracka at Animal Island Pet Shop in Midlothian identified.

“It’s another pacu,’’ he emailed. “That’s a big one.’’

Unfortunately, people catching pacu or other illegally-released aquarium fish are common enough that I rarely do a story on it.

This one was notable because of how big it was.

Usually, released tropical fish do not survive our winters, but that may change as our waters warm. Also discharge areas have higher year-round temperatures.

That brings me to something I can’t stress this strongly enough: Not only is it illegal to release aquarium fish into the wild; but it is just stupid.

I understand a pacu that big has probably outgrown it’s tank. But there are options other than an illegal release.

“Tell those people, I will take their fish,’’ Duracka reiterated.

Animal Island, 14411 S. Cicero Ave., Midlothian, is a short drive off either the Tri-State and Interstate-57. More at (708) 293-0600 or animalislandpets.com.