Millions of armored catfish are damaging South Florida’s lakes. This kind of catfish known for helping fish tanks clean became a big problem because the fish is causing erosion in neighborhood lakes.
This popular aquarium fish that eat algea and dead organic matter is also known as the suckermouth catfish. Their suckered mouth contributed to erosion of local shorelines up to 10 feet, the Sun-Sentinel reports.The report also said that this non-native breed of catfish makes 18-inch-deep holes to the sides of lakes where they lay their eggs. The holes creates a spongy effect to the property and causes unsuspecting residents to trip over them.
Species of armored catfish, all of which live in the streams of South America, make their way into Florida lakes because they are popular to include by fish tank owners because it is the “janitor fish,” which helps clean aquariums. They eventually made their way to local lakes.
Eliminating the invasive species can be difficult. They have no known predator, which means no one eats them, perhaps its because of the armor. They are difficult to catch, fishing hooks have no effect while catching them by bare hands will not be a good idea because of their rugged scales and spiky fins. Nets and spears can be used but these methods can’t eliminate them 100%.
The permanent solution for wiping out the entire armored catfish would cost as much as $100,000, and an assessment to pay for it likely would spark controversy, the Sun-Sentinel said.