Piranha Caught In Becks Pond

Yesterday Mark Castiglione posted a picture tot he DSF group page of a fish that James Strab caught at Becks Pond. It was hard to see the whole fish but it was either a pacu or a piranha.

“Anyone know what this is” .. Mark C.
I responded ..
” I assume you want to know if it is a red bellied piranha or a pacu.”
I only asked because I know these guys know their fish and it sure as heck wasn’t a sunny or bluegill.
Of course the DSF group page sprung to life with ID suggestions. We only got one banded rudderfish suggestion, which was surprising.

The teeth would be the tell tale on this one. These fish are very similar looking, the teeth are the big difference. The otherbig difference is pacu get up to thirty plus pounds, piranha thankfully do not. Could you imagine that eating machine?

Piranha caught in Becks Pond by James Strab
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Pacu have human like teeth that are flat. Piranha have pointy sharp teeth they use for eating flesh of just about anything they can latch into. James contacted DNREC, not sure who. DNREC told James it was a pacu, then he told them it had sharp teeth. “Then it is a piranha” That is about as official an ID as we have at the moment.

There hasn’t been an official word on the fish James caught and it is back in the pond. The line broke when he was trying to get the fish off the hook to take better pictures, the line broke, and fell back into the pond.
Despite the ID of either a pacu or a piranha neither would not survive our winter temperature drops. Unless there are reports of more piranha, I doubt anyone is going to go shock Becks Pond to see and remove them.
I owned an aquarium store for many years. This fish has perfect “finnage” for being in a pond, so it was most likely recently added by someone who tossed the fish when it outgrew their aquarium. This was either a lone fish or in sets of odd numbers, piranha don’t like even numbers in their schools. Now all the bass guys have something else to try and catch in Becks Pond, besides snakeheads.

Fish On!
Rich King

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