Anglers Catch, Then Lose, Piranha In North Park Lake

Jul 21, 2016

Allegheny County Parks Department officials said a red-bellied piranha, likely from a private aquarium, was caught by a woman and her son in North Park Lake on Wednesday.
Credit Allegheny County Parks Department

Allegheny County parks officials are looking for a rogue red-bellied piranha found in North Park Lake on Wednesday.

A woman and her son caught the piranha that officials said likely came from someone’s private aquarium. After removing the fish from its hook, it “flipped back into the water,” county spokeswoman Amie Downs said.

“It’s unfortunate that someone released this fish into the lake,” Allegheny County Parks Director Andrew Baechle said in a release. “But it’s also an opportunity to remind members of the public that animals and pets should never be brought to the parks and let go. It’s not good for the park, the animals or our residents.”

Parks officials said swimmers shouldn't fear. The greater safety risk would be from the fish potentially biting an angler trying who’s trying to remove a hook after it’s caught, Baechle said.

Piranhas typically grow to be 3 pounds and 15 inches long on an omnivorous diet, officials said.

The Allegheny County Parks Department asked anyone who catches the fish to contact officials at 412-350-2460.